For such a small country, Israel has a disproportionately high number of alternative meat startups – over 50, according to Nir Goldstein, the managing director of the Good Food Institute Israel. This should come as no surprise: Israel’s startup ecosystem frequently ranks among the best in the world. But there is ample support for alt-meat innovation in particular. “The market is so hot that we don’t know of any alt-protein startup that hasn’t been able to raise seed funding,” says Goldstein.
Rearing livestock such as cows, sheep and chickens is no longer sustainable in the face of climate change.Animal agriculture emits large amounts of greenhouse gases. If the earth heats up by 2 deg C, 13 per cent of the ecosystem hosting plants and animals will be lost.Meanwhile, Singapore’s population is increasing and its nutritional needs comprise 25 per cent protein. High-tech and high-intensity farming will produce the food of the future.To guard against food supply vulnerabilities and ensure that the country meets its meat needs, researchers are starting to grow them – from cells in the lab.
Plant-based meats are well-known and accepted in China such as Baicaowei’s recent plant-based sausage snack and Jinzi’s plant-based patties, and Greater China countries have seen more advancement such as cell-based seafood firm Avant Meats in Hong Kong, but so far, cell-based meat is pretty much in its infancy in the country. Last year, the Nanjing Agricultural University reported that a team there had produced 5g of pork from muscle stem cells, but not much else about cultured meat has made headlines since then.
“There is a lot of big names who have been supporting the alternative meat industry and those big names have been supporting some of them since day one,” said Chow.Some of those billionaire investors also sit on boards of major grocery retailers and used their power and influence to get meat alternative products out of the tofu aisle and into the butcher aisle, he said.
The investment buzz in the US capital market is well resonated across the Pacific in China. Shuangta Food, a company based in East China’s Shandong Province that produces pea protein witnessed a 192.5 percent jump of its share price in August compared to the beginning of the year. The company recently made the first plant-based pork mooncakes during this year’s Mid Autumn festival along with Zhen Meat, another alternative meat company. In Shanghai’s A-share market, any company relating to faux meat saw their price soar.