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SuperMeat meets Kosher standards for its cultivated chicken

September 8, 2023

Agronomics, a company focused on the field of cellular agriculture, has announced that its portfolio company, SuperMeat The Essence of Meat Ltd (SuperMeat), has met Kosher standards for its chicken cell line.

This represents a historic milestone for the industry being the first time that cultivated poultry has been recognized as meeting Kosher, under the stringent Mehadrin standards. OU Kosher, the Kosher certification division of the Orthodox Union (OU) determined that SuperMeat's product met the necessary standards. The OU oversees the kosher certification of over 1.3 million products and over 14,000 facilities in 104 countries.

Following this recognition, the parties involved are embarking on a thorough examination of the entire supply chain and the cultivated meat production process, thereby establishing clear guidelines for other enterprises in the cultivated meat sector. This endeavour is expected to initiate a Kosher meat certification process for the entire industry and is a pivotal moment in the overlap of religious dietary standards and advanced food technology in the cultivated meat industry.

Agronomics has invested a total of US$12.5 million to date and has equity ownership of 7.8% in SuperMeat on a fully diluted basis which, subject to audit, represents 9.3% of the last published Net Asset Value of the Company (30.06.23) including post-balance sheet adjustments.

The OU's recognition came after a series of in-depth discussions and scientific reviews. These reviews focused on avian embryogenesis and stem cells, including the observation of the excision of embryonic stem cells from a fertilised chicken egg.

"The kosher certification for cultivated meat poses a unique halachic challenge, requiring innovative guidelines that mirror the scientific and technological advancements integral to these novel products," commented Rabbi Menachem Genack, CEO of OU Kosher and Rabbi of Congregation Shomrei Emunah, author and teacher at Yeshiva University. "This collaboration aims to bridge the gap between scientific understanding and halachic adjudication, setting unprecedented standards in the cultivated meat industry."

"We are delighted that our portfolio company, SuperMeat, is paving the way for cultivated meat products to achieve kosher certification," added Jim Mellon, Co-Founder & Executive Director of Agronomics. "This demonstrates the cutting-edge nature of SuperMeat's technology, as well as Agronomic's ability to identify the leading innovators in cultivated agriculture. This development opens up a considerable global market opportunity, with an estimated US$11 billion a year being spent on kosher foods in the US alone. It is also another major step forward for the industry toward broad regulatory approval following FDA assent issued earlier this year."

"Aligning our technology with kosher dietary laws holds immense significance for us," said Ido Savir, CEO of SuperMeat. "This step represents our commitment to inclusivity and respect for diverse dietary needs, making our cultivated chicken meat accessible to audiences around the world. This recognition of our process is a testament to our meticulous attention to detail and the high standards we uphold. We believe this historic initiative with the Orthodox Union not only broadens the options for Kosher consumers worldwide but will also set clear guidelines for other companies in the cultivated meat industry seeking Kosher certification, opening new avenues for the Kosher food industry."

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