29-01-2024 - RESPECTfarms part of FEASTS research project
FEASTS launched: a research project on cultivated meat and seafood explores the future of protein.
- FEASTS is a groundbreaking, collaborative research programme funded by the EU, with the goal to deliver a comprehensive, unbiased knowledge base about cultivated meat and seafood, and their place in the food system.
- The focus is firmly on sustainability by design, an interdisciplinary approach and knowledge sharing.
- FEASTS’ central commitment in exploring the future of protein is to include the perspectives of all those involved in producing our food – from farm to fork and beyond.
The FEASTS (Fostering European Cellular Agriculture for Sustainable Transition Solution) programme, which launched in January 2024, will be conducted by a consortium of 36 independent institutions from 17 countries. Over the next 3 years, participants will delve into the technologies involved in the sustainable production of cultivated meat and seafood. They will investigate nutritional, health and regulatory aspects, as well as issues of food safety related to these complementary proteins. Ethical questions connected with cultivated meat and seafood will be addressed. Environmental, economic and social life cycle analysis will feed into dynamic systems models and expand the understanding of the multi-dimensional impact of cellular agriculture on the environment and the food value chain.
Marja-Liisa Meurice, Director, EIT Food North and East region, which is one of the consortium partners, and leader of the EIT Food Protein Diversification Think Tank said: “Growing demand for protein along with the substantial environmental footprint of traditional animal farming mean we need to look for sustainable sources of complementary proteins, which is exactly what FEASTS is doing. We are looking to identify the most sustainable, economically viable technologies, and to establish their place in the European Union’s food system.”
She added: “We want our findings to ultimately serve as a decision support tool for informed policy and decision-making in the EU. “ EIT Food is supported by the European Institute of Innovation and Technology (EIT), a body of the European Union.
The FEASTS consortium includes leading universities and research institutes, start-ups, business accelerators, independent consultants, international food innovation initiatives, representatives of farmers and aquafarmers and a consumer association. Also inviting input from food system stakeholders, FEASTS will provide a forum for open and informed discussion about the role of cellular agriculture in meeting the growing demand for protein. Solutions developed over the life of the project will take into account such considerations as food security and just transitions for farmers and aquafarmers.
An important part of FEASTS is exploring how cultivated meat and seafood technologies can contribute to the future of farming. As all cellular agriculture products require the contribution
of traditional agriculture, FEASTS will actively involve farmers in designing processes and future scenarios which will generate fair economic returns for them. Another topic of study will be the impact on consumers. Knowledge gaps regarding nutrition and food safety will be addressed with
the requisite rigour and transparency, while workshops and focus group studies will put consumer preferences and the vibrant, diverse food cultures of Europe at the heart of research on acceptance of new products on tables across the EU.
Animal farming in the current food system generates 17% of the total greenhouse gas emissions while supplying only 18% of the global calories and 37% of the global proteins. Cellular agriculture, specifically cultivated meat and seafood, has the potential to mitigate the negative effects of current intensive agricultural methods on human and animal health, and to address nutritional challenges, which the EU is facing. One of the goals of FEASTS is to establish a stewardship model for the European Union’s cultivated meat and seafood sector and support its future competitiveness. The ambition is to create a framework for sustainable production resulting in safe, nutritious, and widely accessible cultured products available to all consumers.
Prof. Frederico Ferreira, FEASTS Project Manager & Coordinator from Instituto Superior Técnico, Lisbon said: “Our aim with FEASTS, which has been designed as a think-tank, is to expand the knowledge related to cultivated meat and seafood so we can future-proof protein supply. We are focused on responsible innovation and principles of open science to ensure data-sharing, reproducibility and, ultimately, access to the project’s findings by key stakeholders. We also welcome input from any institutions operating in the food system which are not yet part of the project. Together, we will create a unique opportunity for an effective reorganisation of the food system and the establishment of resilient value chains in the EU.”
Members of the FEASTS consortium
IST-ID Associação do Instituto Superior Técnico para a Investigação e Desenvolvimento, Stichting New Harvest Netherlands, Laboratorio Ibérico Internacional de Nanotecnología, Bruno Cell S.L.R, Fraunhofer-Gesellschaft zur Förderung der angewandten Forschung e.V, Wageningen University, Nord Universitet, S2AQUA Laboratório Colaborativo, Technische Universität München, Univerza v Mariboru, acib GmbH, VITAL MEAT, Cultimate Foods UG, Supreme (GOURMEY), EurA AG, Ecoinnovazione srl, RESPECTfarms BV, Aarhus Universitet, Collaborating Centre on Sustainable Consumption and Production gGmbH, Alma Mater Studiorum Università di Bologna, Lunds Universitet, Universidad del País Vasco/Euskal Herriko Unibertsitatea, Lukas Madl (Innov), Safe Food Advocacy Europe, Agricoltura Cellulare Italia, Cellular Agriculture Greece, CellAgri Portugal – Associação Portuguesa para o desenvolvimento da Agricultura Celular, CellAg Deutschland EV, Agriculture Cellulaire France, EIT Food, ShakeUp Factory, Rügenwalder Mühle Carl Müller GmbH & Co. KG, Agri-food Technology Center Ctic Cita, NaTurtle AG, CULT Food Science, Japan Association for Cellular Agriculture (JACA).
24-01-2023 - Cultivated meat to be grown on farms across Europe?
RESPECTfarms kicks off feasibility research to enable farmers to grow meat directly from animal cells, on their existing farms. With investment from both European governments, NGOs, and industry partners, they will have the answers in 18 months.
Amsterdam, 24th of January – RESPECTfarms wants to create the world’s first cultivated meat farm, where meat grows directly from animal cells. Today, they announced their first funding and research activities.
- RESPECTfarms receives final approval to start its feasibility studies on decentralized cultivated meat production with a European consortium.
- The funding is given by the European Structural and Investment Funds, executed by the ‘Kansen voor West’ subsidy. With that, RESPECTfarms and partners invest 900.000 EUR into the research.
- The feasibility studies are executed by RESPECTfarms with the support of their consortium and their partners. European research partners were selected across the value chain and include an animal rights organization and a farmers’ union.
With a diverse consortium, RESPECTfarms kickstarted the feasibility studies on January 19, 2023. The consortium exists of RESPECTfarms, the cultivated meat pioneer Mosa Meat, Priva - a leading technology company in agriculture, and the farmer Leon Moonen with the farm Crole. With further support by the meat alternatives’ pioneer from Germany, Rügenwalder Mühle; the Swiss farmers’ union, fenaco Genossenschaft; the cooperative bank Rabobank; and the Belgium animal rights organization GAIA, RESPECTfarms brings together the essential parts of the food value chain and expertise in relevant arenas.
Co-Founder of RESPECTfarms, Ira van Eelen, who has been advocating research for decentralized cultivated meat production on farms for years says: “Let’s finally get to work".
RESPECTfarms kickstarts its feasibility studies on the possibility of producing cultivated meat on conventional farms – becoming European with numerous countries on board and organizations across the value chain.
(f.l.t.r.: Michel Nick, fenaco Genossenschaft, Tim van de Rijdt, Mosa Meat; Leon Moonen, Crole; Maud van Eert, Crole; Ruud Zanders, RESPECTfarms; Florentine Zieglowski, RESPECTfarms; Ralf Becks, RESPECTfarms; Simcha Nyssen, GAIA; Ira van Eelen, RESPECTfarms; Frank Puchala, Ruud van Raak, Jeroen Elzenaar, Kansen voor West; Hans Moyson, GAIA; Chiara van Boheemen, RESPECTfarms; Jan Westra, Priva)
Concept development and feasibility study
In the next 18 months, RESPECTfarms aims to prove the concept of producing cultivated meat on conventional farms, by designing a cultivated meat farm and a digital prototype. The research will tackle three areas: animal-friendly cell selection, circular cell-feed, and functional farm-suited bioreactors. Whilst considering the implications of a local value chain and circularity of resources, all elements will be incorporated into a suitable business model for farmers.
“We are excited to help develop a vision on how farmers will be included in the future cellular agriculture ecosystem. It is important for our nascent field to explore business models and value chains that maximize the benefits for everyone. We are quite proud to be a scientific and technical partner for this project” says Maarten Bosch, CEO of Mosa Meat.
“Cultivated meat offers a solution to the significant issues we are facing as a global community: feeding the fast-growing population in a safe and sustainable way while reducing environmental damage and conserving our planet”, says Jan Westra, Strategic Business Developer at consortium partner Priva.
Cultivated meat farm: expectations and value from partners
The research is essential for evaluating the potential future role conventional agriculture will play for cellular agriculture. The research is valuable for numerous organizations across the food chain who became sponsors of the project of RESPECTfarms.
“Once the project is completed, we will be able to assess the extent to which cellular agriculture and the production of cultivated meat on farms represent a new business field for Swiss farmers. Our involvement is thus oriented towards the purpose of the fenaco cooperative: to support farmers in the economic development of their businesses" says Christian Consoni, Head of the Food Industry Division at the fenaco Cooperative.
“We believe that this proposition responds well to the demand for necessary new sustainable earning models for the existing agricultural sector” says Aernout van der Does, Directeur Banking for Food, Kringdirectie Oost-Brabant, Rabobank.
Having released the first vision film for cultivated meat farms worldwide, RESPECTfarms is one step closer to making its vision a reality.
More quotes by other partners of RESPECTfarms
“For animal welfare, we want the food transition towards cultured meat production to happen as soon as possible, without doubt. The less of intensive or industrial livestock farming and slaughter of animals, the better. For a 100% animal-friendly and slaughter-free transition, we aim a beneficial transition also for farmers. With the upcoming feasibility studies, we will assess opportunities for farmers, how they can best use these opportunities and what role they can play. In this way, the transition to cultured meat fits into the broader picture of making the economy ethically sustainable”, says Michel Vandenbosch, President at GAIA.
"It's great that a sustainable initiative like RESPECTfarms can develop further with this European subsidy. It helps us in the development towards a sustainable and fair food system. A start-up that fits well with the profile of the The Hague region and the impact economy, where many sustainable pioneers work daily on innovations that focus on the major societal challenges that we face as a society" says Saskia Bruines, Alderman for Finance, Economy, and Culture of the Municipality of The Hague.
"With the combination of innovation and tradition, RESPECTfarms shows a new way in which traditional agriculture can move sustainably into the future. At Rügenwalder Mühle, we share this approach and are, therefore, pleased to support RESPECTfarms" says Patrick Bühr, Head of Research and Development at the meat and meat alternatives company Rügenwalder Mühle.
“Cultivated meat is what we breed” says Leon Moonen, farmer of the farm Crole.
RESPECTfarms is an international foundation with activities in the Netherlands, Germany, Belgium, and Switzerland, founded by Ira van Eelen, Ralf Becks, Florentine Zieglowski and Ruud Zanders. RESPECTfarms' vision develops new business models for conventional agriculture, leveraging the promising technology of cellular agriculture. RESPECTfarms behaves as a system integrator of these technologies on the farm. The idea of decentralized cultivated meat production on farms stems from the results of the world's first consortium in the field of cellular agriculture, funded by the Dutch government. This research was led by Willem van Eelen, father of Ira van Eelen, a researcher whose work has earned him to be considered the godfather of cultivated meat. Meet the RESPECTfarms-team: https://www.respectfarms.com/about-us
Do you want to join RESPECtfarms? please look at the job openings.
Do you want to support this initiative, please find out here how.
Partners supporting the project
For more information and interview requests, please contact
RESPECTfarms | Florentine Zieglowski | firstname.lastname@example.org | +49 176 4344 2161
Available images for press coverage:
03-11-2022: Is cultivated meat from a farm possible?
Den Haag - 03-11-2022
RESPECTfarms presents a vision film on the role a farmer can play in the future cultivated meat market – and explores business models in cellular agriculture.
More and more people are talking about cultivated meat - and funds are being made available for research. At the same time, the growth of agriculture, especially that of animal proteins, is under a magnifying glass. RESPECTfarms is an international organisation that wants to build a bridge between these two themes. They participated in a vision film about the production of cultivated meat on farms. Commissioned by the Ministry of Agriculture, Ira van Eelen of RESPECTfarms and filmmaker Ronald van Proosdij sketch a picture of what a farm might look like in the future.
RESPECTfarms shares a new vision film on the integration of conventional and cellular agriculture to show what agriculture can look like in the future: cellular.
RESPECTfarms is convinced that the film helps to make clear what they are talking about when they say that farmers can play a role in cellular agriculture. Co-founder Ira van Eelen: "This is a good example that a picture says more than 1000 words. It will help to have a better conversation about this topic."
The film was produced by Ronald van Proosdij (Buro Proost) to promote research in this field and for policy makers, researchers, and farmers to gain more insight into alternative production methods within agriculture. The vision film is also a presentation of research results, which have previously been done by Prof. Cor van der Weelen from Wageningen University and Research, Ira van Eelen, and the European Commission. The InVitroMeat Foundation has received public financial support from the Dutch Ministry of Agriculture for making the video. Ira van Eelen is co-founder of RESPECTfarms and board member of the InVitroMeat Foundation. Ira is the daughter of Willem van Eelen, a Dutch researcher. He is considered the godfather of cultured meat.
"There is no doubt that cultured meat has a future. Although the Netherlands is one of the frontrunners in this field, Singapore is the first country to market cultured meat. Real meat, without slaughter. At the moment (2022) it is not yet possible to produce or consume cultured meat at scale in the European Union" says Ira van Eelen, co-founder of RESPECTfarms.
Cultivated meat farm, film versus reality
As much real material as possible has been used. The architect in the video is a real architect, employed by Royal Haskoning DHV that has already made designs for several cultivated meat companies. RESPECTfarms is a real organization that explores the possibilities of cellular agriculture for farmers. The farm in the video is run by a real farmer who wants to produce cultured meat on his farm since 2011 and is actively involved in it. The farm in the video is run by a real farmer who wants to produce cultivated meat on his farm since 2011 and is actively involved in it. If the results of the desirable feasibility study are positive, a test farm will be realized.
The video can be viewed here: https://www.respectfarms.com/film-en
RESPECTfarms is an international foundation with activities in the Netherlands and Germany, founded by Ira van Eelen, Ralf Becks, Florentine Zieglowski and Ruud Zanders.
RESPECTfarms' vision develops new business models for conventional agriculture, leveraging the promising technology of cellular agriculture. RESPECTfarms sees itself as a system integrator of these technologies on the farm. The idea of decentralized cultivated meat production on farms stems from the results of the world's first consortium in the field of cellular agriculture, funded by the Dutch government. This research was led by Willem van Eelen, father of Ira van Eelen, a researcher that is considered the godfather of cultivated meat.
RESPECTfarms' vision develops new business models for conventional agriculture, leveraging the promising technology of cellular agriculture. RESPECTfarms sees itself as a system integrator of these technologies on the farm. The idea of decentralized cultured meat production on farms stems from the results of the world's first consortium in the field of cellular agriculture, funded by the Dutch government. This research was led by Willem van Eelen.