News & Articles

Newly published: 12 recommendations to make the UK a leader in the cultivated meat industry

December 15, 2022

Key takeaways:

  • The new report from the Alternative Proteins Association covers policy recommendations for regulators and innovators in the UK in the cultivated meat industry.
  • The report highlights how the UK can become a European leader in novel food technologies by its separation from the EU.
  • This paper was released to enable the British alternative proteins industry to grow, thus boosting GDP and creating new jobs. 

By 2040 the projected value share of cultured meat will reach 35% of worldwide meat consumption (Kearney 2020). 

Consumers, producers, and governments increasingly recognise the need to move away from animal products and the benefits of investing in alternative proteins.

For example, a recent survey of French, German, Italian and Spanish consumers found that: 

64% of consumers believe we must find alternatives to conventional meat.

62% had heard of cultivated meat. 

53% would be willing to buy cultivated meat if it were available. (GFI 2022)

In the UK, 78% of consumers had heard of cultivated meat, and 35% were willing to try it (Food Standards Agency 2022). 

Cultivated meat has many benefits. It produces fewer greenhouse gas emissions than farmed meat, is cruelty-free, and does not use antibiotics.

However, regulation remains a crucial barrier to scaling up the industry. 

“Regulation of Cultivated Meat & Recombinant Proteins in the United Kingdom Recommendations for Ensuring Safety and Embracing Innovation” is a new paper from the Alternative Proteins Association.

It identifies the specific challenges, solutions and opportunities for innovators in the UK.

The authors argue that by capitalising on its regulatory independence from the EU and adopting the following recommendations, the UK is ideally positioned to be a European leader in novel food technologies.

What are these recommendations?

The authors outlined 12 recommendations for the UK government. They categorised them as follows:

  • “Catching up” the UK can take immediate action to catch up with the regulatory standards in other parts of the world.
  • “Getting ahead” measures to further improve the regulatory environment for alternative protein producers in the UK.
  • “Leading the world” more ambitious, longer-term policy changes that can position the UK as a world leader in alternative proteins.

Catching Up 

Immediate action can be taken by:

  • Providing the Food Standards Agency with the vital resources it needs to accelerate the processing of novel food applications.
  • Opening a dialogue between companies and regulators, allowing substantial consultation pre-application to discuss detailed requirements.
  • Updating and clarifying regulatory requirements, giving companies certainty in the studies required and parameters that should be measured for production processes and ingredients.
  • Adopting global standards by recognising approval by other regulators, like EFSA opinions and EC authorisations, and standardising authorisation within UK nations.

Getting Ahead

Measures that can be taken to improve regulations on alternative proteins further:

  • Streamline and provide vital resources to the existing novel food regulations to allow producers a quicker and more straightforward path to market.
  • Stipulate clear and honest labelling to communicate to consumers with clarity and meaning.
  • Signal support for innovation by embracing the production, sale, and consumption of alternative proteins.
  • Level the playing field with animal products by extending their zero-rate VAT status to include alternative proteins.
  • Prioritise novel foods of national strategic importance, like those that aid food security and Net Zero goals.

Leading the World

  • Adopt a modular approval system, reducing redundancy and increasing certainty concerning specific ingredients and processes.
  • Create a food regulatory “sandbox” where producers and consumers can test products in a supervised, safeguarded environment. 
  • Increase research and investment funding to develop safe and sustainable food technologies. 

Around the world, the protein transition is already well underway

Regulation that embraces innovation in food technology is essential to combat the resource-intensive issues of current food systems.

For example, in November, a landmark announcement from the FDA approved lab-grown chicken made by Upside Foods for human consumption.

They continue the momentum of Singapore, the first country to approve the commercial sale of cultivated meat.

Adopting progressive regulation on alternative proteins could: 

  • Position the UK as an innovation leader and a hub for emerging products and services in urgent demand
  • Consolidate long-term food security 
  • Advance the sustainability of food systems 

Multus creates key ingredients for the affordable scaleup of cultivated meat, using ISO 22000 certified ‘food safe’ manufacturing methods.

Our goal is to make cultivated meat an affordable and sustainable choice for everyone.

Explore products that can support the affordable scaleup of cellular agriculture.


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