Last year, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu appointed animal liberation and vegan activist Tal Gilboa to advise him on animal rights. In what could be perceived as a step towards an interest to move meat away from animal ag on the advice of Gilboa, he this week took part in a publicised trip to sample Aleph Farms’ cultured meat.
After Singapore became the first country in the world to allow cultivated meat for sale last week, the “space race for the future of food” now continues.
Israel wants to position itself on the forefront of the global alternative protein ecosystem, and is home to the most foodtech companies for cultivated meat, with companies including SuperMeat, initiator of the world’s first cultivated chicken restaurant experience; Meat-Tech, the world’s first publicly listed cultivated meat company; and FutureMeat, which last year built the world’s first meat pilot production facility.
Aleph Farms, which was founded and nurtured by The Kitchen Hub incubator of the Strauss Group in collaboration with Israel Institute of Technology, is considered the producer of the first prototype of a commercial cultivated steak that has been tasted by the Prime Minister during his visit.
The visit, which was accompanied by The Good Food Institute Israel’s Managing Director Nir Goldstein, also included a presentation by Goldstein and Aleph Farms’ Co-Founder and CEO Didier Toubia, who shared the organization’s National Policy Plan, a detailed roadmap for making Israel the global alternative protein leader.
The Prime Minister commented on taste and the procedure to be followed for Israel’s alternative protein sector as follows: “It’s delicious and guilt-free, I can’t taste the difference. I have directed the State Secretary Tzahi Braverman to appoint a body to serve these industries in order to connect and oversee all the stakeholders operating in this field. Israel will become a powerhouse for alternative meat and alternative protein.”
“Alternative protein production could prove to be a central economic growth engine for Israel,” explains Nir Goldstein, Managing Director of The Good Food Institute Israel. “With governmental support in this industry, we could enjoy 11,000 additional jobs that would earn the economy billions of dollars each year. Israel which currently exports only 5% of the food it produces, could become a global supplier of raw materials and advanced production technologies for alternative proteins. This can all become a reality, in part thanks to the governmental support thus far, but it also depends on government funding from here on of scientific research and development to turbo-charge alternative protein innovation,” concludes Goldstein.