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60% of Market Will Shift to Cultured Meat by 2040, Impacting Traditional Farming Giants

A challenging report from suggests by 2040 the majority of the world's meat will not come from pasture land or crowded feedlots, but from the precise and controlled environments of bioreactors.

A shift to 60% of the global meat supply being lab-grown or cultured meat poses a paradigm changing challenge to traditional meat-producing nations such as the United States, Australia, and New Zealand.

Cultured meat, grown from animal cells in a lab setting, offers a sustainable alternative to conventional meat production, minimising the environmental footprint and bypassing the ethical and ecological dilemmas of animal farming. As this protein sector gathers momentum due to consumer openness and significant investments from tech and food giants alike, the conventional meat sector faces unprecedented disruption.

PFN Ai depiction of 'old verses new' meat industry

Source: PFN Ai depiction of 'old verses new' meat industry

For countries heavily invested in livestock agriculture, the rise of cultured meat presents both challenges and opportunities. Economies like the U.S., Australia, and New Zealand, which are significant players in the global meat export market, will be forced to pivot agricultural strategies. This would involve adopting these new technologies to stay competitive or enhancing sustainable practices in traditional farming to appeal to eco-conscious consumers.

The report further highlights nearly 50% of consumers are receptive to cultured meat, a statistic underscoring the shifting perceptions towards meat consumption. With startups focusing on cultured meat increasing from four in 2016 to 99 worldwide, the industry's growth is palpable. This growing sector is attracting investments from high-profile names like Bill Gates and Richard Branson, as well as major industry players such as Cargill and Tyson Foods, signaling a confidence in its future.

The potential regulatory approval of cultured meat products globally, following Singapore's lead in 2020, opens new markets says the report and presents a strategic opportunity for traditional meat-producing nations. These countries could leverage their agricultural expertise and infrastructure to diversify into the cultured meat space, thus mitigating the economic impacts of reduced demand for conventionally farmed meat.

The report concludes that as the cultured meat industry aims to achieve cost parity with conventional meat, it promises to be a viable and appealing option for consumers worldwide, heralding a new era of meat production kinder to both animals and the planet.

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