Thai and Israeli firms partner to develop lab-grown meats
American consumers may soon see alternative meats from Thailand on their supermarket shelves. The Kingdom’s largest food firm CP Foods plans to partner with Israel’s Future Meat Technologies to develop cultured meats – meats grown in laboratories from animal cells.
“This year we will be rolling out to the U.S. and European markets. Cultured meat is another exciting technology, having the same sustainability and animal welfare proposition as plant-based meat,” said Prasit Boondoungprasert, CEO at CP Foods (CPF).
Lab-grown meats are a new technology still in an early stage of development. CPF has already introduced, however, a line of plant-based meats under the brand Meat Zero that can be found in markets in Thailand and Asia. Most likely, CPF’s plant-based meat products are the ones that will soon have a presence in Europe and the U.S.
CPF is part of CP Group, which started as a seed shop in Bangkok’s Chinatown district in the 1920s. It moved into chicken production by adopting methods used by America’s Tyson Foods, and eventually grew into the largest agro-industrial conglomerate in Thailand.
Future Meat of Israel produces non-GMO cultured meats. The company says its technology allows chicken, lamb, pork, and beef cells to grow forever without the use of genetic modification.
Lab-grown meats face the obstacle of generating enough volume of meat at an affordable price. But Future Meat says that its proprietary engineering technology allows the company to produce cultured meat products for less than $16 per pound.
“We are incredibly excited about the opportunity to expand our activity and to work in Asia,” said Yaakov Nahmias, the company’s president and founder.