China will likely be the world’s largest consumer of cultured meat – but a long and arduous journey awaits it
It is a well-known fact that China’s huge population means it is today and will continue to be in the future, leading to struggles to meet local demand for meat, this which encourages the government to open up to cultivated meat.
“[China] suffers from food instability [with its] meat supply very vulnerable to disease, [as has been seen] with COVID-19 just the latest of many food-related illnesses to hit it, from SARS to ASF which pushed pork prices up 70% in 2017 ”Mattan Lurie, senior advisor to investment firm Brinc, told the audience at the recent Cellular Agriculture: Asia Summit 2021.
“This adds to other challenges such as a heavy reliance on imported meat, which faces unreliable prices, especially due to trade wars and limited supply chain logistics. cold.In addition to this, you will need to know more about it.
“So in the face of all of this, China will probably be the biggest consumer of cultured meat in the world. [and there are already signs of this starting] such as the Ministry of Science and Technology stressing that cell farming is a key area in the 2020 Key National Research and Development Guidelines, with guidelines for applying for grants and R&D. “In addition to this, you will need to know more about it.
That said, Lurie added that the journey to this ‘will be long and strewn with obstacles’for industry, in part because of the Chinese government’s approach to new technologies.
“Consistent with how they have governed other technologies, the Chinese government is most likely to follow, but not lead in this space,”he said.
“What will happen is that the government will make broad positive statements in favor of the industry and encourage the private market to act, but will not propose any regulations. [and] first observe how world governments regulate this. In addition to this, you will need to know more about it.
“Small tests will then be attempted in China, and if the results are positive [and] there is enough data, it will eventually develop regulations and move quickly on this – but often it takes a significant period of time before that happens.In addition to this, you will need to know more about it.
In addition, Lurie also warned that things could be even slower for foreign cultured meat companies trying to gain a foothold in the Chinese market due to existing regulations.
“China has very strict rules on foreign GMO products inside the country, as well as very strict rules on food imports – all of this will make it difficult for international players to compete and sell in China,” he said. he added.he said.
“So it is clear that local actors have a distinct advantage, not only in terms of regulation, but also in terms of understanding local consumption trends, use of KOLs, social media and access to marketing channels. local sales. Foreign companies will need [even more time and face even more challenges] enter the market.In addition to this, you will need to know more about it.
“They will also have to take into account that Chinese consumers consume meat in different formats compared to the West, such as ground pork in dumplings, stir-fries and more, in which most Western companies do not have. not expertise. “In addition to this, you will need to know more about it.
Cultivated meat cost forecastsIn addition to this, you will need to know more about it.
Although the costs of cultured meat and achieving price parity remain the biggest hurdle to overcome at the moment, according to Lurie, the rapid evolution of the sector could mean costs will reach parity faster than the consensus. current market 10 years.
“As it stands, the costs of cultured meat are already falling faster than other technologies. [which are well-known today] such as transistors and genomic sequencing ”,he said.
“Based on the analyzes, we anticipate a breakeven point [in terms of production costs] for precision fermentation and conventional meat in 2021, and also between cultured meat and conventional meat in 2026. In addition to this, you will need to know more about it.
“So while the current market consensus says it will be 10 years before breakeven, we believe it could be sooner, especially with the pace of innovation faster than expected and encouraging news constantly coming in. places like Israel, Singapore and the United States. “In addition to this, you will need to know more about it.