The company aims to produce 12,000 tonnes of cultured pork a year by 2025 – the equivalent of saving 170,000 pigs from slaughter, it claims.
Ivy Farm said it hoped to support its plans with the launch of a £16m fund-raiser to help build a pilot research and development facility.
A report published last year argued that cell cultured meat would not be bought by mainstream consumers until 2040 and would only account for 35% of global meat intake even then. The sector would only really make significant inroads into mass market spend once the cost of production dramatically decreases, the report from research analyst IDTechEX claimed.
However, Ivy Farm co-founder Russ Tucker said: “If you look at the world around us, the way we currently produce and consume food is unsustainable.
‘The silver bullet’
“Already nearly half the worldwide harvest is required to feed livestock and that’s only going to go up. Cultured meat is the silver bullet – through cutting edge technology we can provide real, high-quality meat while saving the planet.”
The company has entered into discussion with the Food Standards Agency to seek approval for its cultured meat product to be sold in the UK. Plans have also been made to talk with regulators in other parts of the world.
Ivy Farm’s non-GMO production process uses technology developed at Oxford University, where a small number of cells are taken from an animal and placed in a bioreactor.
The cells are exposed to a mix of vitamins and nutrients so they replicate and produce meat in three-to-four weeks. The system is continuous, allowing muscle and fat to be harvested without disturbing cells growing underneath.
Here to stay
Chief executive Rich Dillon added: “Make no mistake, cultured meat is here to stay. It’s a compelling proposition – real meat, guilt free. Singapore has approved cultured meat and in Israel, Benjamin Netanyahu wants the country to become a ‘powerhouse’ in alternative meat.
“China is also investing huge amounts into the industry. We believe our technology is among the best in the world and that we can fly the flag for Britain.”