Czech start-up Bene Meat gets EU approval for lab-grown pet food, becoming the first company globally to offer cultivated meat for cats and dogs.
Czech Company Bene Meat Secures EU Approval for Lab-Grown Pet Food Meat
A Czech startup called Bene Meat Technologies has achieved a significant milestone by becoming the first company to gain official European Union registration for laboratory-produced meat intended for use in pet food. The company announced its plans to increase production capacity to several metric tons per day in the coming year.
This development is part of a global race among various companies to create commercially viable lab-grown meat and fish products that cater to consumers’ concerns regarding ethical considerations and the environmental impact of traditional livestock farming, which is a major contributor to greenhouse gas emissions.
In the United States, Upside Foods and Good Meat secured regulatory approval in June for their cultured meat products designed for human consumption, following Singapore’s lead. However, large-scale production has yet to commence.
Bene Meat has shifted its focus to the pet food sector, aiming to provide a product that can be supplied to global pet food manufacturers as a raw material for use in their final products. Roman Kriz, the Managing Director of Bene Meat, stated, “Today we have become the first company globally that has an official authorization for the production and sale of cultivated meat for cats and dogs.”
The product has received certification in the European Feed Materials Register. Kriz also mentioned that the company has successfully scaled up production and aims to offer competitive prices that align with premium and super-premium pet food products on the market.
Bene Meat’s next steps include testing the product’s palatability for animals while expanding production capacity at its existing Prague laboratory and exploring new facilities. Kriz expressed confidence that production would increase significantly, saying, “We expect that during the next year we will get to the level of hundreds of kilograms to single tonnes every day.”
Founded in 2020 and owned by Czech medical devices producer BTL group, Bene Meat has a team of over 80 researchers and developers and has made substantial financial investments in development. The company anticipates achieving financial self-sufficiency in the coming year. While pet food is currently their primary focus, Kriz emphasized that meat for human consumption remains one of their long-term objectives.
Kriz noted that like other companies in this field, Bene Meat uses cells from live animals, which are cultivated in a bioreactor and nourished with essential nutrients. He did not provide further details on the process. He also highlighted the advantages of lab-grown meat, including ethical and environmental considerations and the ability to maintain full control over the production process, which cannot be guaranteed in traditional livestock farming.
The company is actively engaged in discussions with pet food manufacturers regarding supplies and is exploring potential collaborations to establish production lines at their existing facilities. Additionally, Bene Meat has plans to develop its own brand of final pet food products in the future.