Nearly Every Cultivated Food Startup In Asia Just Signed A Historic Nomenclature Agreement

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Cellular agriculture producers across the APAC region have come to a consensus: the preferred English-language term for the category is “cultivated.”

The cultivated meat sector has gone through a number of naming conventions including “clean meat” and “lab-grown” meat. But “cultivated” may be what sticks. That’s according to a historic memo of understanding signed by the leading companies and organizations in the sector across Asia-Pacific countries.

APAC aligns on ‘cultivated’

Signatories of the memo include Good Food Institute APAC, APAC Society for Cellular Agriculture, and more than 30 other key industry stakeholders including multinational companies Cargill and Thai Union as well as regional coalition groups China’s Cellular Agriculture Alliance, Cellular Agriculture Australia, the Japan Association for Cellular Agriculture, and Korean Society for Cellular Agriculture. The agreement was signed during Singapore International Agri-Food Week (SIAW).

Shiok Meats Cell-Cultured Crab Tasting
Photo by Shiok Meats.

“Nomenclature and regulatory harmonisation are vital for the long-term success of the cultivated foods industry and this MOU establishes a regional precedent that can be replicated in other markets around the globe,” said APAC Society for Cellular Agriculture President Dr. Sandhya Sriram and Program Manager Peter Yu.

“The location of this historic announcement was no coincidence,” Good Food Institute APAC Managing Director Mirte Gosker said. “In recent years, Singapore has invested the necessary resources to make the city-state a welcoming ecosystem for food innovation and multilateral collaboration. This MOU is the latest proof that the Lion City is trading its traditional reliance on food imports for a new role as the place where the alternative protein sector’s biggest decisions are forged, announced, and exported to the world.”

Regulatory approval can’t come soon enough

While the naming of cultivated meat may be sorted out, the sale and distribution are still a waiting game for the growing industry. Currently, only Singapore has approved the sale of cultivated meat—Eat Just received approval for its Good Meat cultivated chicken in 2020.

Good Meat’s cultivated lab meat

But with more than $2 billion in funding and more than 120 startups innovating in the space, approval can’t come soon enough for the industry.

Earlier this week, three of the leading cultivated food industry associations announced plans to formalize the launch of a global alliance to advance cultivated foods. The members include the Alliance for Meat, Poultry, and Seafood Innovation, the APAC Society for Cellular Agriculture, and Cellular Agriculture Europe.

“[G]lobal challenges require global solutions,” Gosker told Green Queen. “By bringing together regional industry coalitions from Europe, the US, and Asia Pacific, this timely, new worldwide alliance has the potential to be a game-changer.”

Lead image courtesy of Meatiply.


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