One of the reference events on foodtech and innovation in the food sector took place in Valencia this month. We have attended the ftalks Food Summit, a project by KM ZERO Food Innovation Hub, which brings together dozens of experts to talk about the present and future of the system and discover what is the most cutting-edge and how the industry and the market are evolving.
Our CEO participated in the table dedicated to “Cultivated meat: scale, regulation and consumer acceptance”, together with Giuseppe Scionti, CEO of Nova Meat. Didier Toubia, CEO of Aleph Farms, was also invited, but he could not attend in person due to the current conflict in Israel, although he sent a message to all attendees.
In his talk, Iñigo Charola highlighted the important moment that is now being experienced in the cultivated meat sector: “We are at a decisive moment, it is where good things happen. Companies are focused on doing their work internally, developing the value chain. I maintain a very positive attitude about what we are doing, about the point we are at now -the industrial scaling-, in which we will demonstrate that we are capable of delivering a product to the market. “We are much closer to meeting our goal of bringing cultivated meat to the market”.
Charola also reflected on how the consumer will receive the cultured meat, remaining very optimistic about it: “Various studies tell us that consumers are going to positively accept this new product, especially the younger generations. The older ones may be more reticent, since in reality there is still a great lack of knowledge, the majority does not know that cultivated meat exists because it is not a product that is on the market” – says the CEO of Biotech Foods -. “There is a lot of work to do in communication and the main thing is going to be transparency; Just like in other new products, where you have to communicate, to adequately inform consumers,” he added.
Regarding consumer preferences, Iñigo Charola commented the importance of the properties and characteristics of cultivated meat, of achieving an adequate flavor and texture, since, as he commented, “it is possible that at first consumers are not valuing environmental issues, in the end it is food and they will value how it tastes, its nutritional values. That aspect is very important in the food industry and this is where cultivated meat can bring numerous advantages”.
Charola also pointed out the advantage of a product that is not so vulnerable to external conditions and where production is highly efficient, since only what is needed is produced, all in a context in which price increases can put the economy in check. accessibility to food.
Charola was also optimistic about regulatory matters in the European Union. “The regulatory frameworks of different countries are not that different from each other. What it is about is guaranteeing that something that is going to be ingested is safe and this decision is based on knowledge; the more information available to those responsible for regulation, the easier decision-making will be”, he explains. “Following the recent approvals in Singapore and the US, I believe that the EU will follow the direction taken by these countries. I am convinced of the EU’s commitment to this technology, because it has already invested in it, so I believe that we will be able to reach the same situation”.
Ftalks Food Summit, in its fifth edition, is consolidated as the largest food innovation forum in Europe and a reflection of the excellent positioning of the Spanish industrial sector in the field of food innovation. More than 600 people, including visitors and national and international speakers, were present during the days that the meeting lasted.
The complete planned agenda included more than 100 experts who presented their considerations around different thematic blocks: Resilient and Regenerative Food System, Future Market Trends, New Proteins and Innovation in Retail and Gastronomy.