Cell ag white paper: Australia must invest to lead

Cellular Agriculture Australia (CAA), a not-for-profit organisation dedicated to developing research, collaboration and innovation across the Cellular Agriculture...
August 26, 2022 AU/NZ news
Cell ag white paper: Australia must invest to lead
A cultivated meat tasting featuring Vow's cultivated meat products, as prepared by celebrity chef Neil Perry

Cellular Agriculture Australia (CAA), a not-for-profit organisation dedicated to developing research, collaboration and innovation across the Cellular Agriculture sector, has released its first white paper on the emerging cellular agriculture (cell-ag) industry, with key insights into how Australia can secure its place in the sector’s growth globally. For Australia to become a global leader in the development of emerging proteins such as cultivated meat and precision fermentation dairy products, CAA asserts that the country needs to address barriers to growth with public investment and infrastructure development, and can do this by:

1 – Developing a skilled and future-fit workforce to enable commercialisation and industry growth

2 – Deepening Australia’s cross-disciplinary open access cellular agriculture research

3 – Establishing at-scale manufacturing capabilities and infrastructure. 

CAA’s Chief Executive Officer Dr Sam Perkins said that while cell-ag is a nascent industry in Australia, the country is well-placed to excel. “With a world-leading agricultural sector, an outstanding stem cell research industry, and growing advanced manufacturing infrastructure, Australia can become a global leader in cellular agriculture.”

The white paper outlines the expected growth of the sector over the next decade, “as the technology and regulation of cellular agriculture in Australia and around the world matures”, noting the benefits to Australia with a potential market size for Australian cellular agriculture food products of AUD$105-210m by 2035 (base case), and as much as $2.3b (most optimistic case). 

Although Australia is “well placed to be a global player in this game-changing technology,” it is important to note that “public research in the sector is disproportionately underfunded,” which may lead Australia to miss this multi-million opportunity to other countries that are actively embracing the growth of the cell-ag industry. 

Paul Bevan, CEO of Australian start-up Magic Valley,  the world’s first cultured lamb company, supports CAA’s call for Australia to invest in domestic infrastructure to support the growth of the emerging industry. He says that, otherwise, cell-ag companies “will be forced to set up production overseas where the opportunities are endless.” 

Dr Perkins shares the sentiment, noting that “national strategic coordination and targeted public investment are needed to propel a new advanced manufacturing opportunity in Australia.”  

“To strengthen our ambitions in advanced food and beverage manufacturing – and enhance our existing agriculture and biotechnology industries, swift action must be taken,” he explained.

The white paper highlights many reasons why Australia would benefit from accelerating the growth of the cell-ag industry, including positive economic, labour, public health, and environmental impacts. The paper also points to the opportunity for Australia to meet its commitments to the Sustainable Development Goals, including SDGs 2 – Zero Hunger, 12 – Responsible Consumption and Production, and 13 – Climate Action via increased public investment and infrastructure development for cell-ag.

READ MORE: Cellular Agriculture Australia White Paper


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