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Food futures need new thinking from the industry

An organic vegetable food box retailer and a factory-created meat concept came together to talk about the reinvention of food

Radical solutions are needed for food sustainable production in the face of a global climate crisis, World Retail Congress delegates were warned on the final day of the event.

Shir Friedman, Co-founder & CCO of SuperMeat, and the outspoken Guy Singh-Watson, founder of UK-based organic food box retailer RiverFord, shared their thoughts on the scientific and ideological effort to supply the world with animal-friendly and sustainable means to produce meat, while discussing the rise in organic and vegan customer demand.

Singh-Watson slammed the retail industry for paying lip-service to sustainability when he claimed that far more drastic measures are required. He claimed that too many in the sector lacked “soul” when it came to environmental innovation.

From an economic point of view, these two companies have completely different approaches to handling the environmental issues facing retail, nevertheless, many of their core values show they are heading in the same direction.

“We are at the edge of an environmental climate breakdown. We have no choice but to embrace science and technology in the search for solutions.” Singh-Watson said. 

“Having used the animal as a meat-making-machine for decades, the majority of people are already very aware of the environmental impact and the retail industry needs to make changes to save our planet,” said Friedman. “Today, researchers around the world are working on what until now, would have just been unthinkable: Growing meat in a lab, without the animal. With advanced technology, we were able to grow cells as meat instead of using the animals’ body.”

Often, people choose to become vegan because of animal welfare and environmental issues, but with the possibility to cultivate and re-produce cells, creating cultured and 100% real meat, based on the above statement, means that in the future, the vegan diet might include meat. “We believe we can sell cultivated meat for restaurant prices, within the next three years.” Friedman said.

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