Mosa Meat eyes regulatory clearance in Europe while beefing up partnership in Singapore
02 Nov 2022 --- Mosa Meat is launching in the Asian market through Singapore, while partnering with local manufacturing organization Esco Aster. The company plans to bring its cultured beef to the city-state market in less than a year.
“Typically, the regulatory approval process takes nine to 12 months in Singapore and Mosa Meat is aiming for a first market introduction shortly after our approval. We are exploring partnerships with Singaporean restaurants that are dedicated to bringing innovative and sustainable alternatives to their customers. Then grocery markets will be the next phase,” Maarten Bosch, CEO of Mosa Meat, tells FoodIngredientsFirst.
The CEO delves into the company’s strategy to find allies to bring innovative cultivated meat to market, while approval to commercialize in Europe is not quite there yet.
“Strategic partnerships and collaborations have always been part of the Mosa Meat DNA. Esco Aster is licensed by the Singapore Food Agency as a contract development and manufacturing organization (CDMO) and brings important regional capacity and relationships to the table.”
“This partnership will allow us to manufacture in Europe and Asia simultaneously, thereby reducing the carbon footprint associated with shipping meat around the world. We have global ambitions for cultivated meat, so this is likely to be the first of many strategic manufacturing and distribution partnerships,” he notes.
Mosa Meat grows beef by taking a sesame-seed-sized sample of cells and nurturing them. The company can make 80,000 hamburgers from a single cell sample.
Regulatory trouble back home?
In the EU, regulatory approval has not yet been granted for cultured meat, which might setback the local businesses’ efforts to establish Continental Europe as a hub for alternative meat innovation.
Singapore was the first country in the world to grant approval for cultured meat in 2020. Now the UK is also eyeing alternative protein spaces as Brexit presents a unique opportunity to bypass burdensome legal frameworks and bureaucracy and speed up regulation toward lab-grown meat products, according to the country’s National Food Strategy for Britain.
“Mosa Meat has constructive dialogues underway with policymakers and regulators in Brussels and London. We are learning from each other and working toward a dossier submission that exceeds regulators expectations, thereby moving efficiently through process and pushing policymakers to support cellular agriculture as one of the tools necessary to fight climate change and biodiversity loss,” explains Bosch.
As Mosa Meat gets closer to the finishing line, the final production stage comes within reach.
“Our goal is to scale up our European-based production on a timeline similar to receiving premarket approvals in Europe. Mosa Meat, through our trade association Cellular Agriculture Europe, is working collaboratively with other cultivated meat, seafood and dairy companies and key stakeholders in the EU and UK to make the approval timelines as efficient as possible,” underscores Bosch.
Meanwhile, the Dutch government has put €60 million on the table (US$59.28 million), through its National Growth Fund, into building up the cellular meat and agriculture ecosystem.
This month Mosa Meat is expanding a plant in Maastricht, the Netherlands..“This makes us the largest cultivated meat campus in the world and provides a solid foundation for our European and global commercialization plans,” highlighted CEO Maarten Bosch.
In this new phase of expansion, the company will be housing industrial-size production lines and enabling larger production quantities of beef.
Plant-based meat alternatives might need to step up innovation as the burgeoning cultured meat (fish, poultry and seafood) space is fighting to gain market share. The plant-based arena is going through somewhat of a blip as consumers demand more from NPD, including a cleaner label, improved taste and texture.
“It is clear that consumers crave change, but are less willing to compromise on the sensory elements they love about meat. Mosa beef is real beef, and we are very encouraged by recent consumer research studies on cultivated meat,” says Bosch.
“When we deliver the meaty taste consumers crave, at a comparable price point, and with a product that fits within their cultural food traditions, it will be a game-changer for complementary proteins.”
Erin Borror of the US Meat Exports Association previously told FoodIngredientsFirst that consumers have strongly demanded regular meat this year instead of plant-based.
“Plant-based has been a quick fad, the repeat purchase wasn’t there,” she argues. “Plant-based makes up a tiny fraction of sales in the US market.”
By Marc Cervera
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