Germany’s Opportunity to Prevent Future Meat Scandals by Becoming a Leader in Cultivated Meat

Cultured meat lab grown
©Firn-stock.adobe.com

The large German slaughterhouses repeatedly hit the headlines because of their working conditions, especially during the corona crisis. A scientific paper, written at WHU – Otto Beisheim School of Management, shows how Germany could avoid this and become an international leader in this sector in the coming years.

The ongoing meat scandals provide Germany with the right opportunity to become a pioneer in the field of food cultivated from animal cells. The crisis has now revealed that the industry has a major problem. This problem is an expression of the desire of a constantly growing world population to consume meat. At the same time, the mass production of meat brings with it major ethical and safety problems, not only animals and the environment suffer, but also the employees of the companies.

The fact that this mass production is increasingly viewed critically also presents an opportunity, as a scientific paper written at the Chair of Entrepreneurship, Innovation and Technological Transformation at WHU – Otto Beisheim School of Management shows. Supervised by Prof. Dr. Dries Faems, the study provides evidence that Germany has the potential to become the world leader in the production of meat from animal cell cultures in the coming years.

Peace of Meat
©Peace of Meat

The authors Julia Schimanietz and Gilda Lukacs have collected numerous qualitative and quantitative data from the USA and the EU. They come to the conclusion that the time would be particularly favourable in Germany to become the leader in the production of cultured meat. They give several reasons for this, least of all, Germany already has a strong base of start-ups (e.g. Planetary Foods, Innocent Meat, Alife Foods, Peace of Meat) that drive the development of meat bred in the laboratory.

In order to be successful in the production of cultivated meat, the researchers stress that non-governmental organisations are essential as centres of networking. In addition, the Federal Government must become active with a clear legal framework for the entire production chain. This could not only reduce the uncertainties for startups, but also increase the attractiveness for investors. If the players mentioned above were to cooperate more closely, the chances are good that Germany could become one of the leading nations in the production of meat bred in the laboratory and thus avoid future scandals in the slaughterhouse sector.

cultured meat cellbased beef
© Mariya Fedorova-stock.adobe.com

The results of the authors Julia Schimanietz and Gilda Lukacs were developed in the context of the bachelor thesis “A Systematic Comparison of the US and EU Startup Ecosystems of Cultivated Meat” supervised by Prof. Dr. Dries Faems at the Chair of Entrepreneurship, Innovation and Technological Transformation. Further information can be found at www.whu.edu/de.