Aleph Farms and Mitsubishi bring cultivated meat to Japan

Collaboration to bring cultivated meat to Japan will help the country meet climate change and food security goals.

Aleph Farms and Mitsubishi Corporation’s Food Industry Group have signed a Memorandum of Understanding to bring cultivated meat to the Japanese table. The former will provide its BioFarm manufacturing platform for cultivation of whole-muscle steaks; while the latter will provide its expertise in biotechnology processes, branded food manufacturing, and local distribution channels in Japan.

Didier Toubia, co-founder and CEO of Aleph Farms, said: “The MoU with Mitsubishi Corporation’s Food Industry Group marks an important milestone for us, as we methodically build the foundations of our global go-to-market activities with selected partners.”

Mitsubishi Corporation is a global integrated business enterprise that develops and operates a global network of 1,700 group companies in 90 countries. Particularly, the Food Industry Group covers food resources, fresh foods, consumer products, and food ingredients, and is active in every link of the food supply chain, from the production and sourcing of raw materials to the manufacturing of finished food products.

“The cooperation demonstrates Aleph Farms’ strategy of working together with the food and meat industries to ensure a successful integration of cultivated meat within the ecosystem, while maximising the positive impact we make,” Toubia added. “We are excited to bring cultivated meat production closer to the Japanese market.”

This cooperation supports the fight against climate, especially when the Japanese government has stipulated a goal of achieving zero greenhouse gas emissions. In April last year, Aleph Farms committed to eliminating emissions associated with its meat production by 2025, and reach the same net-zero emissions across its entire supply chain by 2030. As the demand for meat continues to rise with evolving lifestyles, the cooperation will also provide solutions to overcome the societal challenges to the local population surrounding the domestic meat supply. This includes implementing stable food channels of quality nutrition.

Gary Brenner, vice-president of market development at Aleph Farms, continued: “This is part of a network of BioFarm to Fork strategic partnerships being developed by Aleph Farms in Asia-Pacific, Latin America and Europe, following the successful 2019 Round-A strategic investment by Cargill and the Migros Group in Switzerland.”

Both companies are members of the Cellular Agriculture Study Group, a consortium implementing policy proposals under the Japanese Centre for Rule-Making Strategy. The consortium brings together a range of experts on the definition and construction of cellular agricultural foods. It also adds clarification of conditions for Japanese products and technologies to have international competitiveness and establishes mechanisms for coexistence and division of roles with existing industries.