Bluu Seafood And CellX Announce Cross-Continental Strategic Partnership To Answer Food Security Concerns

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China’s CellX and Germany’s Bluu Seafood have announced a strategic collaboration that will see them combine their cultivated meat and seafood expertise to address future demand for sustainable animal protein. Both are pioneers in the emerging cellular agriculture field, boasting extensive R&D activities as they work towards regulatory approval and commercial sale of cultivated products. 

CellX is cited as the leading cultivated meat enterprise in China. Operating out of Shanghai, it debuted a number of products in 2021, most notably, Asia-focused cell-based pork. Bluu Seafood, formerly Bluu Biosciences, is the first European startup to be exclusively targeting cultivated fish. The company aims to have a market-ready product by the end of 2022 following significant funding rounds in 2021. 

CellX cultivated meat. Photo by CellX.

A meeting of minds and motivations

CellX and Bluu are both considered to be at the front of the queue for snagging regulatory approvals for their products, once cultivated frameworks are agreed upon. The two are proactive in their promotion of and cooperation within the sector, for the advancement of the industry as a whole. Chris Dammann, COO of Bluu Seafood, is a vice president and board member of Cellular Agriculture Europe. Representing for CellX is Ziliang Yang, founder and CEO, who has taken on the role of secretary of the APAC Society for Cellular Agriculture. Aligned in terms of representation, the companies are now officially joining forces, to benefit each individually and the wider global cultivated movement.

“China has the world’s largest consumption of seafood and is, therefore, a particularly important market for Bluu Seafood,” Simon Fabich, founder and managing director at Bluu Seafood said in a statement. “Together with CellX, we are working to overcome the challenges in sourcing, scaling, and obtaining regulatory approval concerning cultivated fish and meat to bring affordable and tasty products to market. We are delighted about this Chinese-German partnership in which we are working together on the future of food.”

The new strategic partnership will take the form of collaborative support along the entire value chain, particularly when expanding into each other’s territories. Raw material sourcing, construction of regional production facilities and potential sales partnerships are all anticipated. Together, the two aim to raise consumer acceptance levels for cultivated products and share supply partnerships. Having different product focuses allows for a non-competitive working relationship while promoting the cultivated industry as a united force.

“We are pleased to form this strategic partnership with Bluu Seafood as an industry leader in cultivated seafood and board member of Cellular Agriculture Europe,” Ziliang Tang, CEO at CellX said in a statement. “CellX and Bluu Seafood have a complementary focus regarding species and market geographies. This partnership will serve as a starting point for deeper collaboration between the two companies and will encourage more collaboration across the industry. We are solving a global issue, and this requires a global solution.”

Photo by Bluu Seafood.

Individual cultivated progress

CellX has revealed that it has moved into its next phase of growth, which sees it building on successful R&D activities, to scale for mass production. Reducing manufacturing costs is a top priority. In September last year, the startup revealed it had secured $4.3 million to continue production improvements. The company remains solely focused on the Chinese market initially, with the development of cell-based pork identified as offering a viable solution to China’s food security concerns.

Bluu Seafood stands as the inaugural European leader in cultivated fish. It straddles the line between biosciences and food tech, with the aim of manufacturing cost-effective, healthy and sustainable fish products. Based in Berlin, the company has grown quickly to incorporate two R&D locations, with a further production facility slated to open in Hamburg later this year. 

CellX pork prototype. Photo by CellX.

Partnerships poised for success

Strategic hook-ups within the cultivated sector appear to be becoming more prevalent. Companies are identifying the benefits of sharing knowledge and supply chains, to drive down initial costs and concentrate on swaying consumers to a new food type. 

Last month, Israel’s SuperMeat revealed it will be working closely with Japanese food giant Ajinomoto to streamline the commercialisation of cultivated meat. The latter invested in SuoerMeat as part of the arrangement, which will see the Japanese conglomerate give access to its extensive R&D capabilities and scaling solutions. Last month, Germany’s PHW group, a large-scale poultry producer, announced it is also going to work with SuperMeat, to bring cultivated chicken, duck and turkey products to Europe.

Lead photo of the Bluu Seafood management team. Photo by Bluu Seafood.

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