American food manufacturer, Eat Just, Inc. has gotten the green light from Singapore Food Agency to debut its sale of cultured chicken in Singapore on December 1. This is the first time a country has allowed the commercial selling of cultured (lab-grown) meat.
• The process of manufacturing this chicken will not include injection of antibiotics or slaughtering of live feed, instead being created from animal cells. It is touted to be an almost exact replica of actual meat in terms of taste and feel.
• Eat Just will initially cooperate with a local manufacturing company to produce the synthetic chicken. It will be sold under the GOOD Meat brand in just one, unnamed restaurant at first, with plans to eventually expand to other restaurants and grocery stores in the pipeline.
• The CEO of Eat Just, Inc, Josh Tetrick is planning to price his chicken at premium pricing for the initial six months of sales.
• Tetrik predicts will become more affordable when the company scales up, hoping to get to a place where it is significantly more cost effective than conventional production.
• Eat Just already sells an egglike product made from mung beans. The product is currently sold in the US and China, with plans to expand to South Korea early next year.
• Cultured meat and plant-based proteins have garnered significant popularity in the Asian markets of late, with competitors like Impossible Foods launching mock beef in Hong Kong and Singapore, while Beyond Meat released its meatless pork in China.
Why it matters:
This move comes in line with Singapore’s new food-security agenda.
• In a statement issued by the Singaporean Government, it was reported that almost 90% of the country’s food is exported.
• With COVID-19 highlighting the brittleness of the global supply chain system, Singapore is looking to find more sustainable food sources to sufficiently accommodate its 5.7 million population.
• Representatives from the Singaporean Government have estimated that by 2030, the country will be able to produce 30% of its food domestically.
• Investment has also been directed towards increasing farming lands.
The meat industry has consistently been scrutinised for its inhumane practices in slaughtering livestock and the impact it has had on the environment. Livestock accounts for 14.5% of global greenhouse gas emissions
• Cultured meat poses as a more ethical and environmentally-friendly food source alternative.
• Eat Just is now looking to expand into the cultured burger market as they wait for regulatory approval to commence the production of its cell-based beef.
• As discussions for Eat Just’s approval for selling cultured meat in Europe and the United States are underway, Tetrik also revealed an interest in listing as an IPO in US markets next year.