UZWIL, SWITZERLAND — Givaudan, Bühler, and Migros have formed a new entity, The Cultured Food Innovation Hub, in Kemptthal near Zurich, to accelerate the development and market penetration of cellular agriculture products. The Hub is expected to start operations in 2022.
The Cultured Food Innovation Hub will be a self-sustained, standalone company wholly owned by Givaudan, Bühler, and Migros, located in The Valley in Kemptthal, a hotbed of innovation and technology just outside of Zurich. The new entity will provide facilities and knowledge to accelerate other companies on their cultured meat, cultured fish and seafood, and precision fermentation journeys. The Hub will be equipped with a product development lab as well as cell culture and bio fermentation capabilities to help startups develop and go to market with the right product.
The significant increase in demand in recent years for plant-based foods all around the world has shown 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, the companies said.
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, the companies said.
“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,” said 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.”
Fabio Campanile, global head of Science and Technology, Taste & Wellbeing at Givaudan, said, “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, added, “This truly unique partnership has the potential to be groundbreaking and to have an incredible, positive impact on the world. 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.”