Fostering European Cellular Agriculture for Sustainable Transition Solutions

The current food system is responsible for almost 20 percent of the total greenhouse gas emissions (mainly attributable to animal farming). Yet, it may struggle to adequately meet global nutritional needs*. The emergence of the cultured meat (CM) and cultured seafood (CSF) industries opens up a new opportunity to meet global demands while at the same time lowering the environmental footprint of the food industry.

The FEASTS (Fostering European Cellular Agriculture for Sustainable Transition Solutions) project aims at sharing impartial knowledge on cultured meat and seafood on a larger scale. With this, the project aims to build the necessary base for evaluating the sustainability aspects of these emerging sectors and to create a roadmap for their further development in ethical, cost-effective and sustainable ways.

The FEASTS project will look into some of the pressing issues around the CM/CSF sectors, namely: the absence of up-to-date data concerning the production technologies of CM/CSF products and their environmental and social metrics; the need for sustainable, circular and cost-competitive solutions in the sector; the lack of clarity on the regulatory process for CM/CSF products and the need for methodologies to assess their implications on a Food System Level; and lastly, overall poor awareness of the nutritional value and safety of cultured meat and seafood.

Regarding added economic value, an important objective of the project is to increase the competitiveness of the European CM/CSF sector. On the societal level, the project will facilitate transparency and accessibility to information for consumers as well as create guidelines for farmers and aquafarmers to design alternative business models.

Within the project, the CSCP will contribute with its expertise on multistakeholder engagement by facilitating an active engagement of project partners and related key actors. To do so, the CSCP project team will draw on different persona profiles based on desk research, combining it with a detailed analysis of their interests, needs, operational settings and the drivers of acceptance of CM/CSF production and consumption. Further, the CSCP will carry out a consumer living lab in Germany, where workshops and co-creation activities will be conducted to gain a better understanding on the consumer perceptions and drivers of acceptance. Finally, the CSCP will support the consortium with its know-how on sustainability assessment.

By providing a more nuanced, readily available understanding of the sector, its impact and respective regulatory demands, FEASTS paves the way for the sustainable expansion and improvement of the current global food system.

The FEASTS project is funded under the HORIZON Action Grant Budget-Based, and is a consortium of 36 participants led by the IS-ID (Associação do Instituto Superior Técnico para a Investigação e Desenvolvimento). The project will run from 2023 to 2026.

* World Health Organization 2020