Milestone Tasting of Cultured Meat in Europe

February 14, 2024 - 4 min read

Milestone Tasting of Cultured Meat in Europe

Iceland, February 13, 2024 - Icelandic biotechnology company, ORF Genetics, and Australian novel food innovators, Vow, are proud to announce the success of its first of a kind cultured meat tasting in Europe on February 12th, 2024, featuring gourmet dishes created from the cells of Japanese quail. Among those attending was the Prime Minister and acting Minister of Food, Fisheries and Agriculture of Iceland, Katrín Jakobsdóttir, who had her first taste of cultivated meat at the event, which she enjoyed.

A sustainable option for the future

The production of cultured meat, also known as cultivated meat, is significantly more sustainable than traditional farming. Vow are pioneers in this novel industry, developing methods to grow meat directly from animal cells. The nascent sector has the potential to provide high-quality meat at scale with a minimal carbon footprint: Emitting much less greenhouse gases, and requiring less land and water, than traditional livestock farming.

Growth factors for a growing market

While the market for cultured meat is still in the early stages of development, it is foreseen to grow exponentially in the next few years and decades; A report by McKinsey predicts that the market for cultured meat could reach $25 billion by 2030.

To become climate relevant and meet demand, cultured meat producers will have to scale-up production fast. This is where ORF Genetics comes in, an innovator in developing a range of animal growth factors, based on its extensive work with bioengineering barley grain. ORF Genetics has focused on expanding its portfolio of high-quality, animal growth factors, as well as to scale-up its production capacity to meet the needs of the cultured meat industry for a reliable supply of growth factors. Growth factors are critical components in cultured meat production.

Katrín Jakobsdóttir, Prime Minister and acting Minister of Food, Fisheries and Agriculture of Iceland: “It is clear that our food systems need to change so that we can feed a population estimated to reach 9 billion in 2040. It is also evident that we need to use innovation and technology to establish new ways of addressing the climate challenge. This is exactly what we are seeing on the tasting tables here today. Cultivated meat is one of the solutions to the climate challenge. The Icelandic authorities are determined to pave the way for the adoption of new solutions in Iceland and we are eager to see the development of an EU regulatory framework for cultivated meat.”

Berglind Rán Ólafsdóttir, CEO of ORF Genetics: “We are excited to bring this innovative, novel food product for this milestone tasting event here in Iceland, showcasing that not only is cultivated meat a more sustainable alternative to traditional meat – but that it is also a delicious one. ORF’s barley-grown growth factors allow cultured meat companies like Vow not only to grow but to rapidly scale-up its production to meet future-market demands.”

George Peppou, Co-Founder and CEO of Vow: “Vow is a unique company in the cultured meat industry focused on expanding the options available to consumers today, not just replicating what we already eat. We have a vision of producing meat that is deliberately different - uniquely delicious, nutritious and sustainable, and unlike anything you’ve tasted before. That is why we are so excited to partner with ORF to announce today that Icelanders will be the first to taste an entirely new food in Europe’s first ever official cultured meat tasting.

About ORF Genetics

ORF Genetics is an innovative plant biotechnology company and a pioneer in developing and manufacturing high-quality recombinant proteins in bioengineered barley plants. ORFEUS, ORF Genetics’ unique expression system, uses barley grains as a vehicle for large-scale protein production. The system is highly efficient, eco-friendly and 100% GRAS plant based. This technology has allowed ORF Genetics to develop a portfolio of growth factors, including a portfolio of animal growth factors called MESOkine, specifically developed for cultivated meat production. 

About Vow

Established in 2019, Vow is a cultured meat company that creates better meat for meat lovers. Vow’s vision is to become a house of brands which uses advanced bio-manufacturing to produce a differentiated range of food products. These products are not intended to be direct replicates of traditional meat today; rather, they are intended to be meat-based products which harness the nutrition and taste of a variety of cells and species, and which tap into the sustainability afforded through modern manufacturing and cell culture technologies.

Vow currently operates two food manufacturing and R&D facilities in Sydney, Australia, with plans for a third export-focused commercial facility in development and aims to be in multiple markets by the end of 2024.

Vow’s cultured Japanese Quail cells have already been deemed safe for consumption in both Australia and New Zealand, with similar confirmation expected from Singapore imminently and more to follow soon.

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