Three companies, Givaudan, Bühler, and Migros, have formed a new entity, The Cultured Food Innovation Hub, in Kemptthal near Zurich, to accelerate the development and market penetration of cellular agriculture products. There are many arguments supporting the mass suitability of cultured meat – meat without slaughter or factory farming, a significantly better climate balance, no use of antibiotics, and ensured food security. The Cultured Food Innovation Hub will start operations next year.
The Cultured Food Innovation Hub will be a self-sustained, standalone company wholly owned by Givaudan, Bühler, and Migros, located in The Valley in Kemptthal, a hotbed of innovation and technology just outside of Zurich. The new entity will provide facilities and knowledge to accelerate other companies on their cultured meat, cultured fish and seafood, and precision fermentation journeys. The Cultured Food Innovation Hub will be equipped with a product development lab as well as cell culture and bio-fermentation capabilities to help start-ups develop and go to market with the right product.
The significant increase in demand in recent years for plant-based foods all around the world has shown consumers’ broad concern for the environment, as well as their expectation of producers for healthful foods that are ethical and sustainable. In a world facing great challenges from climate change, combined with a population expected to exceed 10 billion people by 2050, the need for sustainable food cultivation and sourcing is critical.
Bühler Cultured Food Innovation Hub to drive sustainability in meat production
Cellular agriculture for cultured meat provides the means for the farming of animal products without raising animals. Animal cells are used as a starting point, and then technologies such as fermentation are employed for the cultivation of meat products. The result is meat that is identical in structure and in taste to its animal counterpart with vastly reduced environmental impact and no mass farming or slaughter.
“Cellular agriculture offers a solution in several areas from reducing land use and water, to animal welfare, to the safety and quality of the food chain. The three partners in this new venture are each committed to sustainability as individual companies; the combined effort enables the journey to a more sustainable food system,” says Ian Roberts, chief technology officer at Bühler.
Fabio Campanile, Givaudan’s Global head of Science and Technology, Taste & Wellbeing, says, “Bühler contributes with industry-leading solutions that are used in the scale-up and production of thousands of food products around the world; Givaudan brings in centuries of experience and knowledge in every aspect of taste, including all kinds of meat alternatives, and deep expertise in biotechnology, to product development; Migros is known for its competence in customer interaction and market cultivation. The combination of the three partners is remarkable.”
“This truly unique partnership has the potential to be groundbreaking and to have an incredible, positive impact on the world,” says Matthew Robin, managing director Elsa-Mifroma at Migros-Industrie, “Consumers are beginning to understand the idea of cellular agriculture and the benefits it can provide; the market is poised for exceptional growth. When you put it all together, it is a winning combination for the planet.”
The Cultured Food Innovation Hub will go live in 2022.
Givaudan is a global company in taste and wellbeing, and fragrance, and beauty. With its heritage stretching back over 250 years, the company has a long history of innovating scents and tastes. From a favorite drink to your daily meal, from prestige perfumes to cosmetics and laundry care, its creations inspire emotions and delight millions of consumers the world over. The company is committed to driving purpose-led, long-term growth while leading the way to improve happiness and health for people and nature. In the fiscal year 2020, the company employed almost 16,000 people worldwide and achieved sales of CHF 6.3 billion (approximately Rs 50,060 crore) and a free cash flow of 12.8% of sales.
Powered by innovation and creativity, Givaudan Taste & Wellbeing aims to shape the future of food by becoming the co-creation partner of choice to its customers. Built on its global position in flavors and taste, the company goes beyond to create food experiences that do good and feel good, for body, mind, and planet. With an expanded portfolio of products across flavors, taste, functional and nutritional solutions, and deep knowledge of the food ecosystem, Givaudan’s passion is to collaborate with customers and partners to develop game-changing innovations in food and beverage.
With annual sales of CHF 28.7 billion (approximately Rs 2,28,055 crore) in 2019, the Migros Group is both the largest retail company in Switzerland and with over 106,000 employees the largest private employer as well. The owners of Migros are its more than two million cooperative members, organized into ten regional cooperatives. These members run the Migros Group’s core business, its retail sales. Over 50 percent of the products offered in the Migros stores are own brands, a large number of which are manufactured by its own industrial group. The Migros Group also owns other commercial enterprises such as the Denner discount chain or the online store Digitec Galaxus, as well as the travel company Hotelplan and Migros Bank.
Migros was founded in 1925 by Gottlieb Duttweiler. The founder himself attached great importance to sustainable value creation, with ethical considerations and the assumption of social responsibilities playing a major role in his business philosophy. For example, one of the stipulations in his philosophy was that a fixed percentage of the Migros cooperatives’ annual revenues should be used for cultural and social activities. And with CHF 118 million (approximately Rs 939 crore) contributed each year, Migros is the largest private promoter of cultural activities in Switzerland.
Bühler is driven by its purpose of creating innovations for a better world, balancing the needs of economy, humanity, and nature. As a relevant solution partner for the food and mobility industries, Bühler is committed to reducing energy, waste, and water in its customers’ value chains by 50% by 2025. Billions of people come into contact with Bühler technologies as they cover their basic needs for food and mobility every day. Two billion people each day enjoy foods produced on Bühler equipment, and one billion people travel in vehicles manufactured using parts produced with Bühler technology. Countless people wear eyeglasses, use smartphones, and read newspapers and magazines – all of which depend on Bühler process technologies and solutions. Having this global relevance, Bühler is in a unique position to turn today’s global challenges into a sustainable business. Bühler contributes to safely feeding the world and is doing its part to protect the climate, producing solutions that make cars, buildings, and machinery more energy efficient.
Bühler invests up to 5% of turnover into research and development. In 2020, some 12,500 employees generated a turnover of CHF 2.7 billion (approximately Rs 21,505 crore). As a Swiss family-owned company, Bühler is active in 140 countries around the world and operates a global network of 100 service stations, 33 manufacturing sites, and application and training centers in 24 locations.