Finance CEO: Meat Industry Must Invest in “Lab Meat”

Aquaa Partners’ Paul Cuatrecasas believes animal-feed companies should worry about “cultured meat” significantly displacing the animal-agriculture industry in 10 to 15 years.


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In a recent feature on media outlet FoodNavigator, finance firm Aquaa Partners’ CEO Paul Cuatrecasas explained the impeding threat that “lab-grown” (also referred to as “cultured” and “clean”) meat will pose to the animal-agriculture industry—specifically companies that currently grow animal feed. “Executives at feed companies need to take this risk seriously,” Cuatrecasas says. “Even if they do not believe this future will actually come to pass, they need to admit it is feasible.” Food technology company Hampton Creek’s cultured meat products—grown in a lab using a small amount of animal cells—will hit shelves next year, which Cuatrecasas believes will begin a chain reaction for other companies currently developing cultured meat to bring their products to market. Cuatrecasas predicts that cultured meat will comprise a significant portion of people’s diets within 10 to 15 years, and advises that animal-feed companies stay relevant by investing in cellular agriculture. The price of these products—which Cuatrecasas says will be competitive with traditionally raised meat within 15 years—will be the main driver in consumer popularity. “Faced with the choice between two types of meats: one that is cheaper, cleaner, and more environmentally friendly, and the other—which is not,” Cuatrecasas says, “I cannot see traditional meat winning out long term.”

Photo courtesy of Memphis Meats