The Netherlands has become the first country within the European Union (EU) to allow tastings of cultivated meat and seafood products prior to EU novel food approval, indicating the market for these products in Europe is progressing and startup leaders may look forward to full regulatory approval in the near future.
Over a decade ago, the world’s first cultivated meat burger was cooked and eaten at a news conference in London, after being developed by Maastricht University biomedical engineer Mark Post – now the co-founder and CSO of Stray Dog Capital portfolio company Mosa Meat. Yet, since then, these products were not available for tasting within the European Union due to the EU’s novel food health and safety policy. Until now.
In early July 2023, the Dutch government approved a proposal for cultivated meat and seafood products tastings within The Netherlands in controlled conditions. The nation has made history with this announcement, becoming the first country within the European Union to make such taste testings possible.
As taste is a fundamental factor to ensure cultivated products meet the demand of future consumers, this announcement marks significant progress for the cultivated industry within Europe and is a critical milestone for founders in the region.
Seth Roberts, policy manager at the Good Food Institute Europe, has stated this decision can “enable research and open a conversation between producers, the public and government authorities,” while also “strengthen confidence in this sector’s future” in Europe.
The “code of conduct” that was developed outlining the conditions under which cultivated meat tastings could be held were developed in collaboration between the Dutch government and local producers, including Mosa Meat and Meatable, and sector representative HollandBIO.
“Mosa Meat will use these controlled tastings to gather invaluable feedback on our products and to educate key stakeholders about the role cellular agriculture can play in helping Europe to meet our food sovereignty and sustainability goals,” said Mosa Meat’s CEO Maarten Bosch.
Earlier in 2023, Mosa Meat opened the largest cultivated meat campus in the nation which has the capacity to produce thousands of cultivated beef burgers.
Despite this announcement being the first of its kind within Europe, cultivated meat tastings are already being held frequently around the world. Israel, Singapore, and the United States have allowed frequent tastings of cultivated meat products for consumers, with the latter two nations having already granted full-regulatory approval for these products to be sold commercially.