The National Growth Fund invests sixty million euros in education and research in the technology to produce milk and meat directly from animal cells. The Groefonds believe the climate and environmental benefits are very promising. Moreover, there is no need to slaughter for cultured meat.
“This is a milestone,” says Ira van Elen on behalf of the Cellular Agriculture Foundation Netherlands. “Our country is the perfect place to further develop this technology. We are already at the global front in biotechnology, alternative proteins and food innovation. By using cultured meat and milk, the Netherlands can permanently put itself on the map as an agricultural country.”
The application has been submitted to the National Growth Fund by a consortium of Dutch universities, start-ups, food companies and sustainability organisations. Mosa Meat, which develops cultured meat in Maastricht, and Respect Farms, which created the concept for the farm’s liveliest, are part.
The grown meat has not yet been introduced to European markets, but it is already being sold on a modest scale in Singapore and Tel Aviv. However, the first patents for cultured meat were issued in the Netherlands. Willem van Ellen, father of Ira van Elen, took the first steps toward this concept twenty years ago.
“These early inventions were also possible thanks to public funds from the Dutch government,” says Ira van Ilen. Meanwhile, a billion-euro industry has sprung up all over the world. It’s great that Holland is ready to invest money in this for the second time.”
Although part of the population in the affluent West now chooses a plant-based diet, the global demand for meat will continue to grow in the coming decades. Moreover, part of humanity is still meat lovers, for reasons of taste, culture and nutritional value. Cultured meat is an option because it is genetically identical to the animals that donate the cells to the farm.
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