Dutch cultivated meat company Meatable has announced a new strategic partnership that it hopes will propel it into the Singaporean market.
Cultivated meat – also called cultured, cell-based, clean, or “lab-grown” meat – is real animal meat produced by cultivating animal cells. The process requires far fewer resources than conventional meat production, and can be completed without slaughtering or harming any animals.
As the only country to have approved any cultivated meat products for commercial sale, Singapore represents a must-enter market for companies within the cultured protein sector.
Meatable x Esco Aster
Working with Esco Aster, the world’s first cultivated meat manufacturer to be granted an ISO 22000 food safety certificate, Meatable will focus on cell-based pork production.
Initial releases from the duo, largely expected to be dumplings and sausages, will supply the Singaporean restaurant sector from 2024. Following on, 2025 is earmarked for a supermarket debut.
“We’re delighted to be announcing this partnership with Esco Aster and our expansion to Singapore,” Meatable CEO and co-founder Krijn de Nood told Plant Based News (PBN).
“This is only the start of our international expansion plans at Meatable. We look forward to working with partners and regulators across the world to drive forward this food revolution.”
Singapore as a cultivated meat launchpad
Singapore first approved a cultivated chicken development from Eat Just in 2020. It added a further chicken product from the same company almost a year to the day later. This offered tentative confirmation that the meat innovation is being accepted by consumers.
It’s widely understood that Singapore has taken the regulatory approval lead due to the potential food security it can offer. This ties in directly with the country’s overarching 30 by 30 strategy. This aims to see 30 percent of the country’s food needs produced domestically and sustainably by 2030.
“This is a huge challenge for Singapore, as it currently imports 90 percent of its food,” de Nood explained to PBN. “This is just one of the challenges that cultivated meat was created to solve. We only need a fraction of the resources, time, and land space to produce cultivated meat compared to conventional meat, enabling a country like Singapore to reach its food security targets.”
A sector to watch
Cultivated meat requires less resources than conventional meat and emits up to 92 percent fewer emissions. It is currently not approved for sale anywhere other than Singapore. However, companies within the global industry are racing to perfect products ahead of what observers predict is imminent progress.
The Netherlands, Israel, and the US are particular nations to watch. Each has showcased numerous breakthroughs and large investment rounds into cultivated meat in the last year.
The Netherlands, sometimes referred to as the birthplace of cultivated meat (the world’s first lab-grown beef burger was showcased there in 2013), is investing heavily. Earlier this year, the government passed a law legalizing consumer trials of cell-based products. This came shortly before allocating €60 million of public spending to the domestic cultivated agriculture sector.
Meatable will be one company to benefit from such investment, particularly as it has already unveiled a comparable sausage product.