The Israeli Prime Minister says the country will become a powerhouse for alternative meat and alternative protein
Israel Prime Minister tasting Aleph Farms cultivated steak
Photo credit: Koby Gidon, Government Press Office

Israel’s Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has paid a visit to Israeli cell-based meat producer Aleph Farms and tasted the company’s flagship cultivated stake. His visit confirms the Israeli government’s support to the novel food industry in the country.

“It’s delicious and guilt-free, I can’t taste the difference,” said Netanyahu. The Israeli Prime Minister revealed that the State Secretary Tzahi Braverman has been instructed to move forward with an appointed 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,” said Netanyahu.

Aleph Farms applies proprietary technology to grow real meat directly from cow cells under controlled conditions, using a fraction of the resources required for raising an entire animal for meat and without antibiotics.

Netanyahu toured Aleph Farms’ facilities accompanied by the government’s animal rights advisor, Tal Gilboa, receiving an overview of the production process and about the company’s distinct sustainability vision.

Roadmap for developing alternative protein in Israel

Israel has become a fertile ground for innovation in foodtech, with tight connections having been forged between academia, the food industry, and the government.

For example, the Israeli Innovation Authority established the FoodTech incubators ‘The Kitchen Hub’ and ‘Fresh Start’. Aleph Farms was founded and nurtured by The Kitchen Hub in collaboration with professor Shulamit Levenberg, Dean of the Biomedical Engineering faculty of the Technion – Israel Institute of Technology.

However, Israel is facing food security challenges, having to import 85% of the locally consumed beef. Motivated to solve this challenge, Aleph Farms collaborated with The Good Food Institute Israel in the creation of the National Policy Plan – a detailed roadmap for making the country the global alternative protein leader.

Didier Toubia, co-founder and chief executive of Aleph Farms, said the plan involves six different ministries and capitalises on Israel’s unique capabilities. “Aleph Farms is a great example of such collaboration between a governmental agency, the industry, and the academy – all working together to secure a leading position in this key industry.”

Toubia said that the goal of implementing such a national plan for food security is to provide unconditional and secure supplies of quality nutrition to anyone, anytime, anywhere. ”We feel lucky to be part of the local cultivated meat industry, which is working collaboratively to stimulate a global transition for the protein sector.”

Nir Goldstein, managing director of The Good Food Institute Israel, concurred. “Alternative protein production could prove to be a central economic growth engine for Israel,” he said.

Goldstein noted that 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,” he concluded.

Date published: 7 December 2020

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