Guru sat down with Brett Thompson, CEO at Mzansi Meat to talk about the cellular agriculture landscape in Africa the challenges involved with starting a cellular agriculture company, the future of cellular agriculture and much more.
Cellular agriculture is the next step in the evolution of traditional agriculture
We’ve vastly improved our agriculture practices over the last 10,000 years. Brett believes that as farming and raising livestock replaced hunting and gathering, cellular agriculture will be mankind’s next big agricultural evolution. Cellular agriculture will also provide solutions to other pressing issues such as climate change, animal welfare, and ecological destruction.
Challenges that come with starting a cellular agriculture company in Africa
Brett tells us that he had to explain the concept of cellular agriculture to potential investors in South Africa as it is still relatively new here. This wouldn’t have been the case for European and American investors. Then there was the challenge of selling South Africa to European and American investors. In the investor world, nobody wants to be the first to invest in something high risk as Brett and his team were doing, so it was difficult to procure funding.
Cellular Agriculture and plant-based meat are not the same things
Mzansi Meat is a meat company rather than a plant-based meat company, as Brett tells us. He wants Mzansi Meat to be seen first and foremost as a meat company and then as a cultivated meat company using cellular agriculture.
Future of cellular agriculture in Africa
Brett is optimistic about the future of cellular agriculture in Africa and believes it will be the next big space for its growth. Hundreds and thousands of potential founders in Africa can drive massive change once they are connected with resources like equipment, funds, etc.
“I think cellular agriculture as a whole is going to expand. You're going to see a significant shift in interest in addition to the very keen interest that's happening in the other emerging markets for Southeast and America.” - Brett Thompson, Co-Founder and CEO at Mzansi Meat.
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