Bene Meat gets EU approval for pet food made from cell-based meat
Czech start-up Bene Meat Technologies is the “first company in the world” to be licensed to make and sell cell-based meat as food for pets.
According to the company, with the certification obtained from the European Feed Materials Register, it becomes “the only entity in the world” that can produce and sell this product as pet food.
Bene Meat says that making pet food using cell-based meat ensures that pets are being fed pure, high-quality animal protein, without compromising on taste or nutrition.
Roman Kříž, managing director of Bene Meat Technologies, said: “We’re excited to have achieved certification of a new raw material from the European Feed Materials Register, binding for the entire European Union; this first is the beginning of our journey to include the production and sale of other forms of cultured meat."
He continued: “We know that at this stage of the research we have already met the needs of pet food producers, who are constantly looking for ethically and economically meaningful ways to satisfy their demanding customers – pet owners – with their products. And we are personally excited that for the first time in history, we are offering a quality meat alternative without killing animals, and at a competitive price."
ProVeg said that the approval represents a major milestone in the development of the cell-based meat market. ProVeg CEO Jasmijn de Boo said: “We are delighted to see the EU take a pioneering role in the field of cultivated meat and issue the very first approval for the production and sale of cultivated meat for pets”.
She added: “As the plant-based pet food space grows, this regulatory approval of cultivated pet food will be complementary in phasing out conventional meat for feeding our cats and dogs. This will help to greatly relieve the huge burden that the conventional animal agriculture industry places on the environment in terms of carbon emissions, as well as pollution and biodiversity loss."
It looks as though other players in the space are gearing up for more widespread approval, as in the days after Bene Meat’s approval, Agronomics announced that cell-based pet food company Good Dog Food had rebranded to Meatly, in preparation for its UK product launch.
Meatly’s CEO Owen Ensor commented: "We're thrilled to announce our rebrand to Meatly, in what marks an exciting new chapter for us as a team and brand. We chose the name 'Meatly' because we wanted to celebrate the fact that that is real meat, made the new way. Our hope is that Meatly will quickly become a household name, loved by pets and pet parents alike, and recognised as the choice for healthy, sustainable, delicious pet food."
He continued: "Our pets love meat, but old-fashioned meat, produced through factory farming, requires a huge amount of land, water and antibiotics and is a key cause of environmental degradation. We need cultivated meat now more than ever. Pet food is the natural starting point, given consumers' excitement. We're thrilled to be at the heart of the future of meat production in the UK."
Earlier in the year, North American cell-ag company Cult Food Science announced it had developed Marina Cat, a hybrid cell-based pet food brand for cats, developed in partnership with Umami Bioworks.
Marina Cat is a blend of ocean snapper, cultivated by Umami Bioworks, and enriched with Cult Food Science’s Bmmune to provide a high protein, low-calorie snack with a savoury umami flavour. Bmmune is a patented blend of high-protein nutritional yeast and fermentation products and is the foundational ingredient in Cult’s Noochies! cultivated pet food brand.
Production of Marina Cat products is already underway, with widespread availability anticipated in 2024.