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China Global Protein Innovation Dialogues: Commericalzation and opportunities

Beijing, September 27, 2022 – Amidst a global food crisis, Josh Tetrick, David Welch, Caio Malufe, and other agri-food industry thought leaders joined policymakers from China’s Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Affairs online to discuss food security and the prospects of cultivated meat in China and around the world.

Protein innovation is taking the world by storm as the newest form of food production – one that is secure and sustainable. Yet in China, cultivated meat is still nascent and the commercial ecosystem gradually emerging. Providing the industry with better infrastructure and expertise at this critical stage will accelerate its development and bring China and global food supply chains closer to net zero.

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To this end, CPBFA/AGF, along with policymakers from the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Affairs (MARA), hosted this discussion on protein innovation: the commercialization, development, opportunities, and challenges of cultivated meat from an international perspective. The event boasted an impressive lineup including Deputy Director of China’s Institute of Food and Nutrition Development under MARA, Wang Xiaohong, Ryan Xue and Jennifer Lee from AGF, Bill Westman, former Senior VP of the North American Meat Association, Alternative Protein Strategy and Business Development Global Lead for Cargill, Jane Lee, Josh Tetrick, Co-Founder and CEO of Eat Just, Steve Lin, Managing Partner of C2 Capital Partners, Caio Malufe, Head of Strategy at Orbillion Bio, Co-Founder of Dao Foods, Tao Zhang and David Welch, Chief Scientific Officer and Co-Founder at Synthesis Capital. Also joining were representatives from several prestigious research institutions and nearly 100 attendees who tuned in.

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As co-founder and CEO of Eat Just, the world’s first cultivated meat company approved for sale, Josh Tetrick said, “People used to talk about cultivated meat as something out of science fiction, but now it’s commercialized and sold in Singapore. Cultivated meat uses 80% less land and water than traditional meat farming, reducing emissions. [In regard to price], the three drivers of cost reduction are large-scale vessels, media cost, and cell density. China has an important role in leading the industry in building infrastructure and regulation, and I hope to be a part of this process.”

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Deputy Director Wang Xiaohong agreed that “The localization of cultivated meat is itself a way of carbon reduction,” pointing out that China is ideal for innovation since “Chinese people are highly receptive to new things.” Steve Lin of C2 Capital Partners, a key investment partner of Eat Just, echoed this sentiment. He added, “China is the world’s second largest protein consumer with strong demand. By the first half of 2020, the year-on-year increase [of online purchases of plant-based meat] was more than 150%. In the future, the younger generation in China will have increasingly open attitudes towards alternative proteins.” From his overview of protein innovation trends, David Welch also stated China’s opportunity to be a major player moving forward especially in terms of product categories and flavors for cultivated meat.

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In his closing remarks, the Executive Director of CPBFA/AGF Ryan Xue spoke on protein transition’s role in food security. "These dilogues provide integration of projects, technologies, markets, and policies, required help shape food innovation and the future of food in the U.S., China, and the world"

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A platform for international collaboration, CPBFA/AGF is a nonprofit that connects 400+ of the world’s leading organizations around the common goal of agri-food sustainability for food system transformation in China and throughout global supply chains.

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