Analysis Meat

United Kingdom works on rollout of lab-grown meat

May 22, 2024 - Matthijs Bremer

The United Kingdom is planning to accelerate the legalization of lab-grown meat. To speed up the process, the country has reformed their Novel Food trajectory. The market is ready for it. The first product has already been registered, although the British population seems reluctant to embrace the technology.

The British Food Standards Agency (FSA) is planning to allow lab-grown meat on the British market at an accelerated pace. For this, the FSA is focusing on international collaboration. The authority aims to adopt safety standards from Singapore. Lab-grown meat has been served in restaurants in that city-state since 2020. This move by the United Kingdom is in response to a 2023 report by Deloitte, advising to expedite the approval of lab-grown meat to achieve the climate goals for 2050.

To expedite the approval of innovative products, the British government also decided to reform their Novel Food trajectory. There will no longer be parliamentary votes on approvals, shortening the approval process by six months. To ease the pressure, products will not have to undergo repeated inspections after ten years.

Market Ready to Launch
The business sector is already anticipating a swift launch. The French startup Vital Meat recently announced plans to launch their own type of lab-grown meat in 2025. The UK is the most promising nearby market, as the sale and production of lab-grown meat in France are under pressure. In 2023, the Republican Party decided to propose a law banning lab-grown meat. The company has already submitted a Novel Food trajectory application to the FSA. Six months earlier, the company had submitted an application in Singapore.

Even if the approval process is swift, the question remains whether the public is receptive to the technology. The latest consumer survey by the FSA in 2022 shows that lab-grown meat is quite well-known among consumers. A whopping 78% of consumers have heard of lab-grown meat. However, only 34% of consumers are open to lab-grown meat, and only 30% believe that consumption is safe. 42% of respondents stated that nothing could ever convince them to consume lab-grown meat.

Matthijs Bremer

Matthijs Bremer is a market specialist in pork, beef, and poultry meat at DCA Market Intelligence. He also monitors the protein transition, keeping an eye on developments in cultured meat and meat substitutes.

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