Switzerland’s biggest retailer Migros has invested in an Israeli start-up, Aleph Farms, which specialises in lab-grown meat.
The Swiss cooperative has not specified exactly how much it has invested in the Israeli start-up founded in 2017, which has raised $11.7 million in a funding round.
Aleph Farms external linksays it is able to reproduce different types of beef cells, such as muscle, fat, and blood vessel cells, to create a structure that closely resembles that of a conventional cut of meat. In December 2018, the company unveiled its first lab-grown minute steak. The lab-grown meat does not require the slaughter of a cow.
"We believe that cultivated meat has enormous commercial potential and will make it possible to cover growing global meat consumption needs in a sustainable way," Eliana Zamprogna, Chief Technology Officer of M-Industrie, which is part of Migros, said in a statementexternal link.
The lab-grown steak is at least three to four years away from commercial sale, according to Didier Toubia, the co-founder and chief executive of Aleph Farms.
Migros says the new technology “enables meat to be produced while preserving resources" and providing an "attractive" alternative to conventional meat and plant products. Through this investment, M-Industrie is also contributing the skills of its meat processing specialist, Micarna, the Swiss retailer went on.
Aleph Farms was founded by the Israeli agro-food group Strauss Group and Technion. M-Industrie comprises 23 companies in Switzerland and nine abroad. The company employs 14,000 people.