First-ever regulatory approval application for sale of cultivated meat in Europe made by Aleph Farms
Israeli cellular agriculture company Aleph Farms has applied for regulatory approval to the Swiss Federal Food Safety and Veterinary Office, to sell its cultivated meat product Aleph Cuts in Switzerland.
It marks the first submission to be made by a company for the sale of cultivated meat in Europe.
The company made the application in collaboration with leading Swiss food retailer Migros, which it says helped it assess Switzerland’s specific regulatory approval process. The supermarket chain first invested in Aleph Farms in 2019 to assist with the scaling and commercialisation of Aleph Cuts worldwide.
In preparation for the application, both parties conducted extensive research around consumer acceptance of cultivated meat in Switzerland and discovered some 74% of Swiss would be open to trying it.
As part of their agreement, Migros and Aleph Farms will now work together to develop a strategy to launch Aleph Cuts in fine dining food service outlets in the country.
Aleph Farms has already applied for regulatory approval in Singapore and Israel, where it plans to launch Aleph Cuts in small quantities and provide tasting experiences for select partners later this year, if its applications receive the green light.
“Food systems affect everyone, and it will take a coordinated effort between regulators, innovators and incumbents to ensure food security in a way that helps humanity live within its planetary boundaries,” Didier Toubia, co-founder and CEO of Aleph Farms said in a statement. “At Aleph Farms, we carefully consider partnerships that reflect our core values and sustainability commitments. Together with Migros, we are establishing the cow cell as the third category of food products from cattle, alongside beef and milk. We look forward to working closely with Switzerland’s Federal Food Safety and Veterinary Office to enable access to both high-quality nutrition and world-changing innovation.”
The Good Food Institute Europe, a proponent of cultivated meat, welcomed the news. Seth Roberts, Policy Manager, commented: “It’s fantastic to see Switzerland leading the way for cultivated meat in Europe. Once approved by regulators, Swiss consumers will be able to enjoy their favourite beef dishes, made in a way that could slash climate emissions and create space for more sustainable farming. Cultivated meat represents a huge opportunity for Switzerland to enhance its food security and create future-proof green jobs.
“This news should spur the UK on as it considers reforming its novel foods regulatory framework post-Brexit. Several British cultivated meat companies are making great progress, but are considering launching their products overseas. The Food Standards Authority should accelerate constructive conversations with industry, scientific experts and consumer groups to inform a trusted, innovative framework for sustainable proteins that enables them to deliver on their climate benefits.”
Migros has shown great interest in cultivated meat, having signed a Memorandum of Understanding with Israeli start-up SuperMeat in July 2022 to advance the commercial production and distribution of its cultivated chicken products in Europe.