Cultured meat from the farm

Cultured meat from the farm

The RESPECTfarms project explores concepts for farms in the field of cultured meat. A pilot farm is being planned.

Skizze eines Bauernhofs mit Produktionshalle und Windrad
Sketch of the possible pilot farm for cultured meat.

When people see a farm today, only few think of agriculture's actual task of producing vital food. Instead, younger people in particular associate it primarily with problems relating to animal welfare, nature conservation and climate protection. The RESPECTfarms project aims to change this - by developing concepts for how farms can produce cultured meat instead of traditional livestock farming in the future. Cultured meat is produced by multiplying animal cells in a bioreactor. Animals do not have to be kept or killed for this purpose.

Farms meet important conditions

"Farms will play an important role in expanding production once we have the right concept," says Ira van Eelen, co-founder of the German-Dutch project. "Most people seem to forget that as food producers, they have everything needed for cultured meat production."

Feasibility study to start in 2023

Starting in 2023, the four-member team from industry and science intends to conduct feasibility studies for the design of such a cellular German farm. The aim is to clarify technical issues, such as the choice of a suitable bioreactor and the best nutrient medium for cell culture. But economic aspects are also part of the questioning, for example with which business models such a farm can be operated economically for medium-sized companies. Last but not least, those involved are also looking at logistical aspects: "Germany has experienced one of the hottest summers since weather records began. Shipping is extremely limited - that won't change for now," says co-founder Florentine Zieglowski. "We will not grow the culture medium on another continent if it is possible locally here."

More sponsors needed

Although the German-Dutch project team has already received initial funding, additional sponsors are still being sought for the project launch. If the feasibility study is successful, those involved want to use the knowledge gained to set up a pilot farm for cultured meat.