Talk of lab-grown meat may seem like a distant science fiction dream, but worldwide commercial availability is quickly approaching. While Singapore remains the sole country to approve the commercial sale of cultivated meat, several other governments worldwide have hinted that regulatory approval could happen as soon as this year, including the United States and Qatar. Now, a recent report from the business technology firm CIIE.CO and the Good Food Institute (GFI) claim that cultivated meat could positively transform India’s food system.

The cultivated meat industry is centrally dedicated to creating a sustainable, ethical source of protein, allowing consumers everywhere to retain favorite foods without environmental risk. The report highlights how promoting cultivated meat production could help protect India’s people from climate change, pandemics, and even economic instability. Beyond that, the cultivated meat market offers a stable source of protein that requires far less land, water, and energy than typical meat and dairy production.

“We believe this is an opportune time to accelerate the momentum around cultivated meat and smart protein in general,” Partner of Seed Investing at CIIE.CO Vipul Patel said. “Riding on the immense potential that Indian research talent possesses, we hope to discover and support many entrepreneurs in this space in the next few years.”

The report notes that cultivated meat could provide countries including India with a stable food system, but it would be impossible to achieve without significant investment from governments, industry giants, and researchers. The study surveyed Indian cultivated meat stakeholders, investors, start-ups, policymakers, and more to determine the impact cultivated protein could have on the country.

Cultivated meat production is scaling up worldwide as countries begin to discuss regulatory approval. But the most important aspect is that consumers are willing to try cultivated meat. Another report found that nearly 50 percent of Indian consumers claim they are willing to try cultivated meat. Several companies including MyoWorks and Clear Meat have noticed the growing acceptance, intending to usher in a new era for Indian cuisine.

“To transcend the Michelin-starred restaurants of Singapore and Los Angeles and form a pillar of that new economy in the Indian mass market, however, transformative technologies like cultivated meat need our world-class scientists, industry, and government to come together in a Mission for Smart Protein,”  Managing Director of GFI Asia Varun Deshpande said. “The advantages for India’s global competitiveness and self-sufficiency in building a sustainable supply of nutritious foods targeting malnutrition and creating lakhs of jobs will resonate for decades to come.”

Companies Worldwide Gear Up For Regulatory Approval

In Singapore, Eat Just’s GOOD Meat has set precedent for cell-grown meat, becoming the first commercially sold cultivated protein on the market. While GOOD Meat and Singapore currently hold a monopoly on the industry, food tech companies worldwide have developed proprietary methods of replicated meat and dairy products. Within the United States, the food-tech company UPSIDE is working to create sustainable proteins that will be restaurant-ready as soon as its granted regulatory approval.

UPSIDE recently opened its largest production facility entitled EPIC, meaning Engineering, Production & Innovation Center. The California-based production facility aims to eventually produce 400,000 pounds of cultivated meat annually. With current predictions expecting the cultivated meat market to exceed $2.7 billion by 2030, UPSIDE intends to cover all consumer bases. The company even acquired a cell-based seafood brand Cultured Decadence, adding cultured lobster to its portfolio.

The GFI report emphasizes the need for substantial investments in order for cultivated meat companies to truly expand. Although companies have already secured significant investments like Future Meat’s recent $347 million investment round, the report claims there is much more growth needed for the world to see significant sustainable impacts. But, the report and experts believe that consumers will embrace cultivated meat as a sustainable alternative to inefficient food systems that put human and planetary health at risk.

“With climate change, malnutrition, pandemics, and economic fragility proving themselves to be real and ever-present threats, we need bold, visionary investment in the industries of the future,” Deshpande said. “Cultivated meat is part of a suite of smart proteins which offer enormous promise to build a more resilient, nourishing food system and a thriving, 21st-century green economy.”

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