CAA collaborated with Future Alternative to host Australia's first and only conference dedicated to precision fermentation and cell cultivation, which took place in Sydney on 15 June, 2023.
The day was attended by over 140 representatives from multiple interest groups including: cellular agriculture companies and consortia, investment bodies, consumer-goods and contract manufacturing organisations, media companies, Australian universities and the Australian government.
It was a day of open and earnest conversations, and there was a clear readiness to collaborate to build a cohesive cellular agriculture sector in Australia. CAA is proud to have been a part of such a milestone for the cellular agriculture sector in Australia.
From CAA’s perspective, there were a number of common threads in the day’s conversations, with each seeming to engender considerably more agreement than discord.
A handful of the common themes discussed were:
1. Sector support
The cellular agriculture sector needs dedicated, targeted, ongoing support.
2. Business Models
The technology works, but the business models need significant work to ensure that the sector can positively impact the future of our food system.
Honesty and transparency are vital to building consumer trust, and companies that make unsubstantiated or unrealistic claims about their products should be held accountable.
Australia risks falling behind as other countries lure global talent and enterprise through policy prioritisation, infrastructure investment and financial incentives.
5. Doubling down
Investors should double down on companies within their portfolios, but we can’t forget the need to support new and emerging companies too.
6. Focus on Food
Approvals in the US & Singapore provide hope for commercial opportunities - but to become mainstream, the sector will need a mindset (and workforce) shift from being tech companies to food manufacturers.
7. Knowledge sharing
The cellular agriculture sector has much to learn from existing FMCG companies who drilled home the need to include consumers early in R&D processes.
Overall, the day highlighted that whilst there is a long road ahead of us, we ultimately we have the talent and commitment to get see the Cell Ag sector thrive in Australia.