One step closer to sustainable food system

Founders of Memphis Meats preparing a meal in the kitchen
Image by Memphis Meats
A close up of Richard Branson smiling, looking at the camera
Richard Branson's signature
Published on 22 January 2020

It’s exciting to see how cell-based, clean meat companies like Memphis Meats are making a positive impact on the food system, human health, the environment and animal welfare.

Now, we’re one step closer to a clean meat reality, after Memphis Meats closed the largest funding moment in the history of the cell-based meat industry. I’m a proud investor in Memphis Meats and it’s great to see further backing from some of the world’s top investors, meat industry leaders and groups.

Synthetic meat tender with a piece of herb sitting on top as it rests on spinach, all on a white plate
Image by Memphis Meats

We decided to support the start-up a few years ago, having looked more deeply into the ethical and environmental issues of the industry. Livestock currently produces around 14 per cent of all man-made greenhouse gas emissions – on par with forms of transportation combined. Furthermore, 77 per cent of all agricultural land is used for livestock (meat and dairy). As demand for meat is expected to double by 2050, this environmental impact will only become larger.

If we want to create a secure and sustainable food system, the meat industry needs to be revolutionised. Cell-based meat is bringing a clean alternative to the table with technology that grows real meat from a single animal cell without the need to raise animals. I think this is the future of meat production and I hope that in the next few decades the practice of killing animals for food will largely be a thing of the past.

I also think a shift toward more plant-based diets is also an important part of the solution. I’ve been cutting down on eating meat for a number of years and have noticed a great improvement to my health and lifestyle without any compromise on taste!

The closing of this funding round for Memphis Meats brings us one big step closer toward a secure and sustainable food system, allowing the start-up company to build a pilot production facility, grow their team and bring products to people for the very first time.

Last year, my friends and family got a surprise taste of this future for ourselves as we sat down to a delicious chicken dish. It was only after the meal when we gave compliments to the chef that we realised it was a Memphis Meats product – served by the company’s co-founder and CEO, Dr Uma Valeti.

Richard Branson sat around the table eating with other people
Image from Virgin.com

I’m excited to see Memphis Meats continue to scale and dish up a delicious alternative to conventional meat production. Thanks to a growing coalition of innovators, investors, scientists and entrepreneurs, a more sustainable and secure food system is so close you can almost taste it!