Bene Meat Technologies (BMT), a bio-tech startup, achieved a significant milestone on November 7 by securing approval from the European Feed Materials Register to produce and market its lab-cultured meat products for the European pet food industry. This certification positions BMT as the sole entity globally authorized to supply its product for pet food formulations across the European Union.
Roman Kříž, Managing Director of BMT, expressed, “We’re excited to have achieved certification of a new raw material from the European Feed Materials Register, binding for the entire European Union; this first is the beginning of our journey to include the production and sale of other forms of cultured meat.”
Initially founded in 2020 with a focus on cultured meat for human consumption, BMT identified a lucrative opportunity in the pet food sector. The company aims to assist pet food manufacturers in achieving sustainability goals while maintaining an affordable product.
Tomáš Kubeš, Head of Strategic Projects at BMT, noted, “Thanks to the obtained certification, nothing prevents us from taking further steps; we’re negotiating with feed manufacturers to get this wonderful product into production.” BMT’s cultured meat is produced in laboratory bioreactors, bypassing the use of costly and non-scalable fetal bovine serum (FBS). Instead, cells are gently extracted from living animals and cultivated in a nutrient-rich medium. The resulting product, textured and shaped, becomes a cost-competitive option for pet food formulas.
Emphasizing high quality and purity, BMT’s cultured meat products may offer additional benefits to pets compared to traditional animal-based ingredients. The company, backed by an 80-person international team of scientists, can tailor its technological process to the specific needs of pet food manufacturers.
The EU approval is hailed as a significant milestone, influencing the pet food industry, animal agriculture, and pet owners. Philip Lymbery, Global Chief Executive of Compassion in World Farming International (CIWF), commended the arrival of this more sustainable alternative, highlighting the positive aspect of cultivated meat entering the market without causing harm to animals.
Post-approval, BMT plans to introduce the first pet food made with cultured meat next year, scaling up production in the second half of 2024. The company is also set to participate in the fall 2023 cohort of Plug and Play Topeka, a U.S.-based accelerator program.
Roman Kříž expressed personal excitement, “We know that at this stage of the research we have already met the needs of pet food producers, who are constantly looking for ethically and economically meaningful ways to satisfy their demanding customers, pet owners, with their products. And we are personally excited that for the first time in history we are offering a quality meat alternative without killing animals and at a competitive price.”