PoultryUSA - June 2018 - 35
Cultured meat products, like this demonstration chicken
product made by Memphis Meats, likely won't be
publicly available for several years. Memphis Meats
Menlo Park, California, and Atomico, based in London,
as well as agribusiness companies Tyson Foods Inc. and
Cargill declined to comment for this article. Caroline
Ahn, a spokeswoman for Tyson, referred to a January
2018 statement by its CEO and President Tom Hayes. It
explained the reasoning behind the company's investment in Memphis Meats and other ventures.
"This isn't an 'either or' scenario; it's a 'yes and'
scenario," Hayes said in the statement. "A protein strategy inclusive of alternative forms is intuitive for Tyson
Foods. It's another step toward giving today's consumers
what they want and feeding tomorrow's consumers sustainably for years to come."
In May 2018, Tyson invested $2.2 million in
Jerusalem-based Future Meat Technologies. The startup
says it is producing cultured meat at $800 per kilogram
and has a roadmap to producing at a price of $5 to $10
per kilogram by 2020.
A challenge or an opportunity?
Looking to Cargill and Tyson's investments, Welch
said animal agriculture can either see the technology as
a threat or an opportunity. The challenge of feeding as
many as 10 billion people in the coming decades will
require changes to the global food system.
"There are opportunities for some more forwardthinking companies in the poultry space to see those
opportunities and pivot whether that's through investment or through working with some of these clean meat
June 2018 ❙ www.WATTAgNet.com
companies as they continue to grow," Welch said. "If the
current system isn't going to work, then the companies
that are going to succeed in the food space in the future
are the ones that adapt and change their processes and
invest in new technologies."
Mozdziak said the industry shouldn't worry about
cultured meat and instead should embrace the technology. It's unlikely cultured meat will put anyone out of
business anytime soon, but there is real concern about
whether the world will have enough meat by 2050. A
supplemental protein product can help fill that need.
However, Kim said the industry is pre-competitive.
The research surrounding the technology is still in its
infancy. Much more research and funding is needed to
move cultured meat forward and progress will ultimately
"To watch the developments would be very wise, but I
don't think there's much to actually worry about. I think
getting these products to compete in a meaningful way,
that is going to be a huge challenge," Kim said. "It's going to be a very long while before there's a pure cultured
meat product out on the market - one that's not 90 percent or more filler and one that tastes as good."
For now, those in and around the cultured meat field
don't see themselves as a threat to conventional agriculture but rather another option for a hungry world.
"We are not trying to threaten anyone's business.
We are trying to feed a growing world in a sustainable
way. We've found that's a goal that everyone shares,
including conventional meat and poultry producers,"
Myrick said. "We will need multiple production methods to feed the globe, and we believe clean meat is one
of those production methods.
"No one knows exactly what the future of food will
look like. That's why we're exploring new approaches.
Some will resonate with consumers more than others,
but we believe every attempt will move us forward." ■