A research project awarded funding by the UK Government will look at whether cultured meat poses a threat, or creates an opportunity, for farmers in the UK.
The project, to be run by the Royal Agricultural University (RAU) in Cirencester, will receive advisory support from food awareness organisation ProVeg International.
ProVeg, which supports cultured meat development to reduce the effect of animal agriculture on the environment, will be part of the project’s advisory group, participating in stakeholder workshops, and engaging its networks in the research.
The Government funding is the latest investment made by its UK Research and Innovation department as part of its Transforming UK Food Systems Strategic Priorities Fund (SPF) Programme.
The RAU research is one of 11 projects to receive a total of £14 million studies that will look at improved health outcomes for people and the natural environment.
“We are very pleased that the RAU project received funding for research into the effect of cultured meat on UK food and farming,” Stephanie Jaczniakowska-McGirr, International Head of Food Industry and Retail at ProVeg, said.
“An assessment is needed to see how farmers can embrace the rapidly developing cultured meat sector and reap the benefits,” she added.
Cultured meat development is commonly assumed to be a threat to farmers, developing a competing means of production. However, the impact on agricultural value chains has not yet been investigated, nor has there been in-depth engagement with farmers on the opportunities and challenges they foresee in the technology.
The few studies that have examined the farming implications of cultured meat remain high-level in their analysis (i.e. do not include on-farm modelling or collaboration) and have not examined the specific agricultural context of the UK, which the RAU study seeks to address.
Notes to Editors
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About ProVeg International
ProVeg is an international food awareness organisation working to transform the global food system by replacing conventional animal-based products with plant-based and cultured alternatives.
ProVeg works with international decision-making bodies, governments, food producers, investors, the media, and the general public to help the world transition to a society and economy that are less dependent on animal agriculture and more sustainable for humans, animals, and our planet.
ProVeg has permanent-observer status with the UNFCCC, is accredited for UNEA, and has received the United Nations’ Momentum for Change Award.