Bezmasna plant-based butcher shop

© Bezmasna

Retail & E-Commerce

“Prague’s First” Plant-Based Butcher Shop Offers Meat-Free Versions of Czech Classics

A plant-based butcher shop called Bezmasna, claimed to be the first in Prague, has opened its doors in the  Czech capital as demand for plant-based products continues to grow. Located in the city’s Letná district, the store offers fresh, high-quality meat alternatives in recyclable or returnable packaging. It aims to provide plant-based versions of Czech classics such as meatloaf, cold cuts, and deli salads, many of which are not available elsewhere. Additionally, customers can enjoy vegan versions of traditional Czech sandwiches (“chlebíček”), or request one of the ready-made products, such as meatloaf, in a bun. The meat alternatives are said to be made without harmful artificial additives or ingredients that have been imported long distances. “We will continuously change our offer. Consumers can also look …

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Bene Meat Technologie introduces cultivated meat pet food product at Interzoo 2024

Image courtesy of Bene Meat Technologies

Cultivated, Cell-Cultured & Biotechnology

Bene Meat Technologies Introduces Slaughter-Free Pet Meat at Interzoo Fair

Bene Meat Technologies (BMT), a Czech startup developing cultivated meat for food and feed, has introduced its cultivated meat pet food product publicly for the first time. Claimed as a “world premiere,” BMT’s cultivated pet food for cats and dogs was presented at the latest Interzoo trade fair in Nuremberg, where BMT handed attendees samples of its “revolutionary” pet food (it has not been specified which type of meat). Last November, the startup received a license from the European Feed Materials Register to commercialize a cultivated ingredient in the European market, becoming the first to obtain such registration. (Animal feed materials do not require pre-market approval from the EU novel food system.) After this commercial milestone, BMT says it has scaled its production capabilities to …

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Image courtesy of Mewery

Cultivated Meat

Mewery Announces Significant Progress in Cultivating Pork at Larger Scale

Czech cultivated meat company Mewery, known for its cultivated pork and microalgae burger, announces a key milestone in its product development: successfully establishing a stable cell line. The new cell line exhibits the most favorable response to Mewery’s proprietary co-cultivation technology, which involves pork cells and also microalgae cells used for a proprietary serum-free medium. Vladislav Strmiska, CSO at Mewery, comments: “This achievement represents another important step forward in our ongoing efforts to bring cultivated meat to consumers.“ Meat without animals As the company explains, a stable cell line is a population of cells that can continuously grow and retain their desired properties over many generations. This continuous growth eliminates the need to take cell samples from animals, making cultivated meat a more sustainable and ethical alternative …

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New Food Forum

Image courtesy of ProVeg Czechia

Retail & E-Commerce

Czech Retailers Pledge to Make Plant-Based Alternatives More Accessible

At the New Food Forum conference held in Prague on April 18, retailers such as Tesco Czech Republic announced plans to make more plant-based alternatives available at affordable prices. The news comes as Czech consumers become increasingly interested in plant-based foods; according to ProVeg Czechia, data from consumer research agency GfK indicates that 4 out of 10 Czech households have purchased plant-based alternatives within the past year, with three-quarters making repeat purchases. Speakers at the conference emphasised the importance of certifications such as V-Label to help consumers identify plant-based foods. They also discussed supporting local plant-based producers through strategies such as minimising labelling restrictions and providing government support for innovation in food production. Initiatives such as the ProVeg Czech Export Alliance, which helps members who …

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ProVeg Czechia launches plant-based innovation course

Image: Nick Morrison on Unsplash

Society

ProVeg Czechia Launches Course to Boost Plant-Based Innovation

ProVeg Czechia has introduced a new course that aims to support plant-based innovation, contributing to the development of higher-quality plant-based alternatives in the Czech and Slovak markets. The course discusses innovative production processes, consumer needs, current trends, and nutrition. It also addresses the labelling of plant-based products, and includes inspiring case studies. Food industry professionals, along with those studying alternative proteins or interested in entering the field, are invited to enroll in the course. It will be delivered online during June and July. “The ongoing developments in the sector are a clear sign that alternative protein isn’t just a passing trend but a robust movement with a promising future,” said Veronika Baťová, Project Manager and course organiser at ProVeg Czechia. “A growing number of consumers …

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Bene Meat Technologies signed open letter urging the EU to evaluate the safety of cultivated meat

© Bene Meat Technologies

Cultivated Meat

Bene Meat Technologies Signs Open Letter Urging the EU to Review Italy’s Cultivated Meat Safety Concerns

Czech cultivated meat company Bene Meat Technologies has sent an open letter to the European Commission asking it to review Italy’s ban on cultivated meat due to safety concerns and its compliance with EU law.  The letter states that Italy’s ban on the technology was based on unfounded scientific claims about its safety, disregarding the EU’s standard food safety assessment mechanisms while violating the common market principle, posing a threat to EU interests. “The EU has a range of legislative instruments to ensure food safety, often directly applicable, and not requiring the adoption of standards at a national level,” argues Bene Meat Technologies. Factual scientific information The letter, signed on behalf the company’s team by CEO Roman Kříž, also notes that as an experienced company in cellular agriculture, …

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juicy_marbles_basting_closeup

© Juicy Marbles

Meat- and Fish Alternatives

Juicy Marbles Partners With Grocery Delivery Services in the UK & Czech Republic

Plant-based whole-cut producer Juicy Marbles has partnered with rapid grocery delivery service GoPuff, allowing UK consumers to have a two-pack of plant-based steaks delivered to their doors in as little as 30 minutes. The news comes a year after Juicy Marbles’ first major UK supply deal with supermarket chain Waitrose in a trial intended to last just two weeks. When 86% of the stock sold out within four days, the deal became long-term. Juicy Marbles’ steaks have since seen successful launches at Tesco where they retail at a lower price than comparable animal-based steaks, as well as at Whole Foods UK. Sales have reportedly been strong to date. “We love that Gopuff provides home chefs with a fast, convenient way to get their groceries when …

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Mewery, a Czech biotech developing cultivated pork using microalgae, has been awarded a non-dilutive grant of almost €200,000 by the Czech government.

© Mewery

Politics & Law

Czech Government Supports Mewery with €200K Grant to Cultivate Pork

Mewery, a Czech biotech developing cultivated pork using microalgae, has been awarded a non-dilutive grant of almost €200,000 by the Czech government through the CzechInvest Technological Incubator. With the funds, Mewery will conduct comprehensive studies to improve the efficiency of its platform as it prepares to scale up. According to the announcement, the studies will focus on cell characterization, exploring the metabolites involved in their growth, and analyzing gene expression patterns (transcriptomics) to gain insights into cellular processes and interactions. “The CzechInvest’s investment is a significant endorsement of Mewery’s innovative approach to cultivated meat. This knowledge will be essential for designing a near-future scalable production process that is efficient, cost-effective, and meets the highest quality standards,” shares Roman Lauš, Founder and CEO of Mewery.  Slaughter-free pork Headquartered in Brno …

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ProVeg Czechia product lineup

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Protein

Czech Parliament Hosts Seminar to Promote Plant-Based Diets

In early November, the Czech Chamber of Deputies hosted a seminar titled “New Trends in the Food Industry – an opportunity for the Czech Economy, a healthier society and a sustainable future?”. Organized by Klára Kocmanová, Vice President of the Environment Committee, and sponsored by the Ministers of Environment and Health, this event gathered food producers, retailers, and specialists to discuss advancing alternative protein sources. ProVeg Czechia‘s food industry and retail consultant, Tereza Trávníčková, initiated the seminar, highlighting the increasing adoption of plant-based diets among Czechs and the importance of achieving price parity. “Price significantly influences consumer decisions. Czech consumers face significant price differences: they pay over 160% more for a plant-based alternative to minced meat and almost 60% more for a plant-based alternative to …

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Czech startup Bene Meat Technologies (BMT) has become the first company in the world to obtain EU Certification to produce and sell cultivated meat for pet food.

© Bene Meat Technologies (BMT)

Pet Food

Bene Meat Technologies Receives First-Ever EU Approval for Cultivated Meat for Pet Food 

Article amendment 21st November: please refer to the situation in full as described here, with the series of events updated with further developments since this story was first published on 8th November. Czech startup Bene Meat Technologies (BMT) claims it has become the first company in the world to receive EU Certification to produce and sell cultivated meat for pet food. It was only this January that the startup announced it was developing animal cell lines to produce cultivated meat ingredients for the pet food industry. Nonetheless, today, BMT announces that it has received a license from the European Feed Materials Register to commercialise its products. This organization oversees the authorization of additives and covers for animal feed in the EU and EEA markets.   …

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ProVeg Czech plant-based nutrition course

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Health

ProVeg Czechia Qualifies 137 New Plant-Based Nutritionists in Successful 5th Cohort

ProVeg Czechia, an NGO that advocates for plant-based diets, recently launched a certified course in plant-based nutrition, with the lessons rooted in the latest nutritional research, including practical guidance on how to apply the newly acquired knowledge. After passing the final test, graduates receive a certificate of qualification and the opportunity to be featured in ProVeg’s database of certified nutrition experts. The course has just graduated 137 people, its fifth cohort since the course began. The organisation reports that the certification of participants is a rigorous process, ensuring that each member added to the database possesses the expertise required for providing sound advice. The course sees consistently high attendance, which ProVeg says bodes well for the future and the expansion of the expert database, as …

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ProVeg Czechia

Julie Karabinová. © ProVeg Czechia

Interviews

ProVeg Czechia: “The Interest in V-Label is Unprecedented and Demand is Constantly Growing”

In 2021, the Czech Vegan Society became ProVeg Czechia, as interest in plant-based diets began to grow rapidly in the country. At the time, a quarter of Czechs were already reducing their meat consumption, with 6% avoiding meat altogether. Since then, the Czech plant-based market has only continued to grow, and ProVeg Czechia is now one of 11 ProVeg offices worldwide working to raise awareness of food system transformation. The organisation has been instrumental in bringing the internationally recognised vegan and vegetarian trademark V-Label to the country, along with helping to make plant-based foods more mainstream. Julie Karabinová joined ProVeg in 2021, working as V-Label certification manager for the nonfood section and New Food Forum co-organizer. We spoke to her to find out more about …

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Merry unveils the "first-ever" pork and micro algae cells burger

Image courtesy of Mewery

Cultivated Meat

Mewery Unveils “First-Ever” Cultivated Pork & Microalgae Burger

Today Czech food tech Mewery announces what it claims is the “first-ever” cultivated burger made with pork and microalgae cells. The food tech startup is developing slaughter-free meat products before seeking approvals in international markets. “Our burger tastes delicious and easily surpasses the taste of traditional plant-based burgers,” said Roman Lauš, founder of Mewery. According to Mewery, the cultivated burger prototype debuted at a cultural event in Czechia, where attendees (90%) expressed interest in trying the burger. Unfortunately, public tastings are not currently allowed in the EU. “We are working with the Czech government on the so-called “non-employee” tastings, which could be possible as early as next year,” Lauš said.   Fortified pork for the US and Singapore Mewery said that European Union novel regulation approvals would likely take …

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New Food Forum 2023 Upfield

©ProVeg International

Retail & E-Commerce

At New Food Forum Conference, Czech Retailers Agree to Innovate and Promote Plant-Based Foods

At the New Food Forum Conference 2023, recently held in Prague, retailers throughout the Czech Republic pledged to boost their plant-based product ranges, in response to increased consumer demand for more plant-based meat and dairy alternatives. In addition, delegates from Tesco and Upfield renewed commitments to boost their plant-based offerings, with Upfield reportedly pledging to make all of its products plant-based within the next three years (vegconomist has contacted Upfield for further information and confirmation.) Organized by ProVeg Czechia, this year’s Conference hosted retailers and food manufacturers from across the Czech Republic, who discussed the need for better availability, quality, and more affordably-priced plant-based alternatives to animal products. Among major topics, participants discussed how innovations and new technologies are key to developing the plant-based sector …

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mewery's cultivate pork prototype

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Cultivated, Cell-Cultured & Biotechnology

Mewery Develops “World’s First” Prototype Based on Cultivated Pork and Microalgae

In October 2022, Czech cultivated pork startup Mewery announced it had obtained the proof of concept for growing mammalian cells using microalgae growth factors instead of fetal bovine serum.  Just a few months later, after proving the feasibility of its cultivation process, Mewery announces the successful development of a cultivated pork prototype using its proprietary microalgae-based growth medium. An important milestone for the company, which claims that its medium saves 70% of the costs compared to conventional FBS methods, bridging the price parity challenge with animal meat. This development, according to the company,  is the world’s first cultivated pork prototype consisting of 100% cells —75% pork and 25% microalgae cells — contrasting with many prototypes that rely on plant proteins for texture and consistency, says …

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L'Osteria pizza Bristol

© L'Osteria Bristol

Company News

McWin Acquires Majority Stake in L’Osteria for Almost 400 Million Euros

McWin, a private investment firm specialising in foodservice and food technology, recently announced the acquisition of a majority stake in L’Osteria, the leading casual dining operator in Germany and Austria. The chain currently operates 157 locations in eight countries, with over 6,000 employees in the DACH region, the UK, France, Luxembourg, the Netherlands and the Czech Republic.  The transaction is valued at nearly €400 million. The founders Klaus Rader and Friedemann Findeis will both remain minority shareholders in the company. The new partnership with McWin will further support and accelerate the group’s expansion both in Germany and in numerous new and existing markets across Europe. L’Osteria and plant-based The chain has a wide vegan offering. Its pizza dough is vegan, and for this Veganuary, it …

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Cultivated pork meat sausages

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Cultivated, Cell-Cultured & Biotechnology

Mewery Proves Feasability of Microalgae-Based Cultivated Pork Without FBS

Czech cultivated pork meat startup Mewery claims it has proven that the company’s proprietary microalgae-based growth medium for cultivating mammalian cells without using fetal bovine serum (FBS) is feasible.  Developing cultivated pork meat using microalgae growth factors instead of fetal bovine serum has been Mewery’s strategy for the production of ethical and more economical cultivated meat. Mewery says it is the first European startup to use this method. Roman Lauš, Mewery’s founder and CEO, comments: “Our microalgae-based cultivation medium is FBS-free. This was the main goal we set at the very beginning, a cultivation medium without animal products. It means meat without animal death.”  He continues, “We were able to validate our method in different environments, and we obtained a so-called ‘proof of concept’ of …

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Cultivated pork meat sausages

© Mewery

Cultivated, Cell-Cultured & Biotechnology

Czech Foodtech Mewery Becomes “The First European” Cultivated Pork Startup Using Microalgae

The Czech startup Mewery holds the claim of being the first European foodtech startup developing cultivated pork on a proprietary microalgae base. The Brno-based foodtech has now received backing from US accelerator Big Idea Ventures to develop cultivated pork.   With pork meat being the second most consumed meat worldwide and the most consumed and preferred meat in Europe, Russia, and China, among others, Mewery has set its sights on becoming the European cultivated pork leader. Mewery is reported to be developing its unique technology based on microalgae in order to decrease the cost of cultivation by 70%. The company aims to be entering the market by 2026 pending regulatory approval.  Developing cultivated pork using microalgae growth factors instead of fetal bovine serum is a key …

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