Bright Green Partners: “By 2035, we’ll have cracked the standardization of cultivated meat”
Several occurrences sent ripples of excitement through the alternative protein industry last year. Two of the most extraordinary were in relation to cultivated meat.
The first was when UPSIDE Foods became the pioneering US company to obtain GRAS status from the FDA to sell its cell-based chicken to consumers. The second involved governments around the world announcing investment in cultivated meat, from the US$60 million pledge by the Dutch government to the inclusion of cellular agriculture as part of China’s five-year agricultural plan.
One woman at the core of this exciting industry is Floor Buitelaar, a forthright advocate of 'living life on the veg' and Co-founder of Bright Green Partners, a global consultancy focused on alternative proteins.
She summarized the enthusiasm surrounding cultivated products in simple terms: “People love meat and they want to continue eating it; if we really want to turn the world into a more sustainable place, we have to create products that are so identical to meat that they encourage a global shift.
“With plant-based, we can go a very long way, but it will never be 100% identical,” Buitelaar continued. Mostly vegetarian herself since the young age of 12, she recognized that some people may not want or need identical alternatives, but there will be others who won’t make the shift without them. “That's precisely what cultivated meat can recreate, and that's what makes me so excited about it.”
Nevertheless, although there have been numerous ground-breaking developments, Buitelaar pointed out that “the market is still very fragmented and companies are working in silos. Everyone is trying to solve the puzzle on their own”.
Unlike the plant-based industry, which could draw from foundations such as the extrusion technologies from pasta and pet food products, and the fermentation industry, which could utilize established expertise and tweak prior fermentation facilities, cultivated meat lacks an existing infrastructure.
“Everything has to come from different dimensions,” Floor explained. “So part comes from the biotech industry, part comes from the food industry, and part comes from the meat industry – because you have to know what an actual meat product tastes like. There are so many elements that need to come together, which is what makes cultivated meat complex and challenging.”
The industry is still in its early stages. Production facilities lack standardization, which makes it difficult for first movers to create a robust infrastructure. And yet, “Infrastructure is key to testing, upscaling, and finally mass scale production,” Buitelaar told Protein Production Technology International. “These three are all critical elements to the cultivated meat industry.”
She went on to explain that commercialization routes for cultivated meat are relatively uncharted and the development and manufacturing processes require significant expertise from expert players across multiple industries. Outsourcing certain aspects of the value chain will accelerate the process of getting a cultivated meat product to market.
“We think that by 2030-2035, the appearance of specialized firms will help crack the standardization required in the industry and provide services to support companies to scale up faster,” predicted Buitelaar. “But for now, first movers are needed.”
Of course, creating your own production facility from scratch is no mean feat. That’s why Floor, together with Géza Molnár, founded Bright Green Partners to help connect the dots. The company's combination of in-house consultants with a growing global in-house expert network of around 2,000 people means that it has plenty of experience within the cultivated meat industry, as well as from more established alternative protein industries.
“Even though the industry is in its infancy, so industry best practices are not widely available, we have built an in-depth knowledge base of cultivated meat facility development. This helps us to create custom solutions for our clients,” added Molnár.
For example, Bright Green Partners was integral in the design of a client’s cultivated meat pilot facility, where it helped define the size and capabilities, develop the conceptual engineering, and recommend the commercial strategy and partnerships required to make the project operational.
In much the same way as a mycelial network connects individual plants together to transfer valuable information and resources, Bright Green Partners utilizes their knowledge and connections to accelerate the growth of the cultivated meat industry and help their clients make informed business decisions.
“I think that's really the power of Bright Green Partners: by bringing knowledge, network, and speed to our clients. That's really the value that we bring,” said Floor.
Bright Green Partners is a global team of top-tier consultants with considerable expertise in alternative proteins, ready to offer clients 360° services to meet your specific needs in plant-based, fermentation and cellular agriculture. You can reach out to Bright Green Partners by clicking here
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