08/11/2021 – Sustainability / Cellular Agriculture / Meat / Givaudan / Bühler / Migros / Switzerland
A PIECE OF THE CULTURED MEAT PIE: New tie-up of major Swiss players points to cellular agriculture's strong future prospects
Three major Swiss companies – Givaudan (a multinational manufacturer of flavours and fragrances), Bühler (a multinational plant equipment manufacturer) and Migros (Switzerland’s largest retail group) – have formed a new entity, The Cultured Food Innovation Hub. Located in Kemptthal near Zurich, the new company aims to accelerate the development and market penetration of highly prospective cellular agriculture.
There are many arguments supporting the mass suitability of cultured meat: meat without slaughter or factory farming, a significantly better climate balance, no use of antibiotics, and ensured food security. Located in The Valley (pictured) in Kemptthal – a hotbed of innovation and technology just outside of Zurich – a new all-Swiss tie-up aims to leverage upon this direction of travel in terms of consumer sentiment.
A self-sustained, standalone company wholly owned by Givaudan, Bühler, and Migros, the new entity – The Cultured Food Innovation Hub – will “provide facilities and knowledge to accelerate other companies on their cultured meat, cultured fish and seafood, and precision fermentation journeys”, the three partners said in a joint statement. The Cultured Food Innovation Hub will be equipped with a product development lab as well as cell culture and bio fermentation capabilities to help start-ups develop and go to market with the right product.
More sustainable food cultivation is critical
The significant rise in demand in recent years for plant-based foods worldwide has demonstrated consumers’ broad concern for the environment, as well as their expectation of producers for healthful foods that are ethical and sustainable. In a world facing great challenges from climate change, combined with a population expected to exceed 10 billion people by 2050, the need for sustainable food cultivation and sourcing is critical.
Cellular agriculture for cultured meat provides the means for the farming of animal products without raising animals. Animal cells are used as a starting point, and then technologies such as fermentation are employed for the cultivation of meat products. The result is meat that is identical in structure and in taste to its animal counterpart with vastly reduced environmental impact and no mass farming or slaughter.
“Cellular agriculture offers a solution in several areas from reducing land use and water, to animal welfare, to the safety and quality of the food chain,” advised Ian Roberts, Chief Technology Officer at Bühler. “The three partners in this new venture are each committed to sustainability as individual companies; the combined effort enables the journey to a more sustainable food system.”
Combined expertise in industrial scale-up, taste, and market cultivation
Fabio Campanile, Givaudan’s Global Head of Science and Technology, Taste & Wellbeing, agreed, adding: “Bühler contributes with industry leading solutions that are used in the scale-up and production of thousands of food products around the world; Givaudan brings in centuries of experience and knowledge in every aspect of taste, including all kinds of meat alternatives, and deep expertise in biotechnology, to product development; Migros is known for its competence in customer interaction and market cultivation. The combination of the three partners is remarkable.”
Matthew Robin, Managing Director Elsa-Mifroma at Migros-Industrie, described the new collaboration as a “truly unique partnership” with “the potential to be groundbreaking” and “ have an incredible, positive impact on the world”. Mr Robin added: “Consumers are beginning to understand the idea of cellular agriculture and the benefits it can provide; the market is poised for exceptional growth. When you put it all together, it is a winning combination for the planet.”
The Cultured Food Innovation Hub will go live in 2022.
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