In 2013, a lab-grown clean meat burger would set a buyer back around £215,000. Now, the cost is considerably less, at only £8, according to a new report by Dutch animal nutrition company Nutreco, a global leader in its field.
According to the report titled “Don’t have a cow man; the prospects for lab-based meat,” the company believes that in the short-term future, the impact of lab-grown meat on the animal agricultural industry will be minimal. In the long-term, as lab-grown meat reaches price parity with traditional meat, it notes the concept could change the future of food.
“Once there is a clear production process for lab-grown meat that meets all legislative requirements and cost targets we can expect market share to rise exponentially and this will have an impact on animal feed consumption,” notes the report, which was published by the Adam Smith Institute. It continues, “If and when we begin to see price parity, the situation will most likely change significantly.”
According to Viggo Halseth, the chief innovation officer at Nutreco, it is not a question of “if” lab-grown meat will take off with consumers, but “when.” However, he notes it is currently hard to predict a timeframe. This is due to legislative issues, as well as a lack of clarity on how lab-grown meat could be produced on a mass scale.
Despite this, Nutreco is backing Netherlands-based clean meat company Mosa Meat’s prediction that lab-grown meat commercialization could happen as soon as 2020. The company recently raised $8.8 million in a Series A funding round, which was backed by top Swiss meat processor the Bell Food Group and M Ventures, the corporate venture capital arm of German pharmaceutical company Merck KGaA.
Nutreco is still, however, somewhat cynical about clean meat production. Halseth notes that whilst there are environmental issues associated with traditional meat production, we do not yet know the impact the lab-grown meat industry may have.
However, Alexander Hoffman, principal at M Ventures, is positive about the future of lab-grown meat. He recently stated, “[Clean meat production] would free up a large amount of resources that are now used for meat production worldwide, and will completely disrupt an old-established and currently unsustainable industry.”
Image Credit: Mosa Meat
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