Podcast #15: Peace of Meat CEO and Co-Founder Dirk von Heinrichshorst speaks with Andrew D. Ive from Big Idea Ventures about Peace of Meat, a B2B supplier of tasty cultured fat, produced directly from animal cells without harming the animal or the environment.

Big Idea Ventures has launched our very own podcast “The Big Idea Podcast: Food”. Each week Big Idea Ventures Founder Andrew D. Ive will speak with some of the most innovative minds in the food space and talk about the exciting projects they are a part of. 

To listen to the episode click the links below!

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To learn more about Peace of Meat check out the links below!

Peace of Meat:  https://peace-of-meat.com/

LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/company/peace-of-meat/


Transcript

Andrew D Ive  

Hi there, this is Andrew from the big idea podcast focused on food. Today we’re going to be talking to Dirk, the co founder of Peace of Meat spelled P-E-A-C-E of meat from Belgium. They’re focused o n cell based meat. They’re creating fat, and liver. But the biggest thing they’re focused on is how do you scale cell based meat technology? How do you make it have a sizable quantity and sizable production so that they actually can make a difference? So today, we’re we’re talking to Dirk. We’ll be getting into it in a second. Thanks for coming along. And by all means, subscribe to this podcast, so that you can get updates on a weekly basis as we bring new podcasts to you. Thank you.

 

Okay, Dirk, Dirk from Peace of Meat. How are you? Welcome to The Big Idea Podcast Food. Not big idea food podcast, the big idea podcast food, because one day we may do other podcasts around similar amazing categories. So anyway, Dirk, welcome to our podcast. Great to speak with you.

 

Dirk von Heinrichshorst  

Thank you. Thank you. Bless you again, Andrew.

 

Andrew D Ive  

I know it’s it’s been a little while. Lots have happened since since we last had a conversation. Absolutely. You look, you look, I’m not sure if he looked younger or older, let we’ll get into whether it’s been a really great six to 12 months. As you can say handsomer handsomer? Yes, I can I can. I don’t know if you can be any handsome from the last time I spoke? Of course. All right. So you are the CEO of Peace of meat? Why don’t we get into what Peace of Meat is and what it’s all about?

 

Dirk von Heinrichshorst  

Alright. Yeah, so Peace of Meat is actually the first cultured meat company in Belgium. I founded it with two of my co founders back in August 2019. And we’ve been on a very spectacular ride ever since. And currently, we are focusing on upscaling the process regarding the growth of cultured fat. So growing fat, and large bioreactors aiming, of course, to reach production volumes sooner rather than later. And we have been very lucky that actually, in our very short existence, we’ve already been acquired by another company called MeaTech. Who has rewarded us handsomely. And who’s giving the company all the opportunities that we actually need, not just our company, but I would say, as a industry as a whole to reach these upscaling milestones.

 

Andrew D Ive  

Okay, so there’s a lot in there. And for you and I who have been or you and me who have been circling around this space for many, many years. All of that makes absolute sense. For those that haven’t, let’s just kind of very quickly touch on cell based. So cell based just gives, if you wouldn’t mind, just give people a quick overview of what that is for those that are new to this.

 

Dirk von Heinrichshorst  

Are you asking this every cell based company?

 

Andrew D Ive  

You know, I haven’t spoken to any cell based companies? Oh, okay, great.

 

Dirk von Heinrichshorst  

Okay. Okay. So I can give, I can give a bit of technical information, just like a high level.

 

Andrew D Ive  

However, however, you would describe this to an investor that is sort of new to the whole space or, you know, or maybe your, your, your aunt or your uncle or someone in the pub, the Belgium, beer gardens or whatever.

 

Dirk von Heinrichshorst  

Right? So yes, obviously, we’re all looking for alternative solutions for producing fruit, right? In the future, this will absolutely be necessary and sources of alternative protein are one of the primary targets for many of us. We’ve decided to start growing cells, that means we’re taking cells from animals. In our case, since we’re working with avian species, we’re isolating cells from eggs. In a very early stage of the development, we’re looking for very specific cells, we put them in culture, and then we start duplicating these cells until we have a lot of them, right. So we then create what is called a the cell line. And with this cell line, we can start really culturing the cell platform. That means we start growing them in really large volumes. So starting from lab scale in petri dishes or flasks towards, let’s say, two liter by reactors, 20 litres, 200 liters, 2000 liters and so on. And then of course, we need to turn that into something, right. So once we have reached the limit of the cell growth, we want to turn it into something that we can process later on as a food ingredient. In our case, that would be fat, but we could as well transform that into muscle, or into liver, or in anything else basically, that we, that the cells allow themselves to be transformed in. And that, of course, depends on the cell type that you’re working with. And since Peace of Meat is focusing on biomass production, mainly, we’re not so much involved in the, let’s say, Food Science part not literally, right, so after the acquisition, we split it up a little bit. So it’s more Meat Tech Europe who is focusing on the food science and really on the plant based matrix that will be then combined with our cultured fats to turn that into something eatable. And then they of course, need to focus on on texture, and taste, and so on, while pieces meat as a company is, is primarily focusing on the biomass production, obviously taking into account that needs to be a food ingredient as well. And this is where our our, our main focus is right now.

 

Andrew D Ive  

So why are you so perfectly outlining, you know, the whole process, and thank you for that? I was remembering I did have one or two conversations with cell based companies. And I never asked them that question. And I wonder why. And I hope anyone who ever listens to those doesn’t get completely confused about what cell based is if they’re not new to it, but I wanted to admit it, I wanted to make out there in case you listen to those and thought he lied. We weren’t. We weren’t the first. And he made me do this. And he didn’t make anyone else do this. You know, I didn’t. So I hope anyone listening to those other podcasts isn’t completely confused by what we’re talking about. Can I ask very quickly, you mentioned fat a few times why why fat? Why is that a product or an ingredient that that we need given? You know, I guess given that we’re trying to get fat out of out of foods, we’re trying to get lower fat. So why focus on producing fat?

 

Dirk von Heinrichshorst  

Well, this discussion around whether or not we need fat in our diet, I will leave that in the middle. You’re quite right. But we do believe that one of the concerns currently with plant based meat alternatives, for example, is that it lacks a bit in a sense, say in juiciness, it tries to mimic fat using plant based alternatives such as palm fat, or coconut fat. They’re not ideal for a couple of different reasons. And there’s also of course, techniques that tried to find solutions to make it more or less better. So what we’re saying is look, although these initiatives are really good, we can actually replace all these techniques by just one simple ingredients, which is cultured fat. And I can testify that cultured fat immediately brings the juiciness to the plant based meat alternatives. So this is this is a fact this is this happens immediately by adding cultured fat to the to the mix of ingredients without any other kind of intravenous. And then again, since it is a animal derived ingredient comes from animal cells, we can actually also additionally offer the, the taste of animal fats to the end product. Wishing again increases let’s say the meatiness of the final product was just one ingredient. So that’s why we believe in it. And I think many of many others share this opinion at least from what we can see.

 

Andrew D Ive  

So that So a couple of things. One is by by creating that cell based fat it enhances the taste as you say of plant based foods. It makes it much closer to the original that we’re all trying to get to in terms of the target Obviously, because you’re replicating those cells from very, very small number of cells, it’s it’s far more sustainable than just take it, it’s, you know, someone might listen to this and be a bit confused, are they taking fat from animals? And then they’re sort of just taking that fat and adding it to plant based? Why is it then plant based? The reality is, those cells have been many been grown outside of the animal, so far more sustainable in terms of water, livestock, you know, space that we would need if we were using it, if we were growing the animal, the food, you know, all of the normal arguments against kind of pure factory farming and animal protein. I guess one question I have is, I know the debate is raging, but is cell based, vegan or is cell based non animal at the end of the day. And I think I know that there are vegans out there who are quite happily happily trying their cell based meats and saying, I’m fine with this. And there are other vegans out there who are saying cell based I would never touch this, because it’s still derived from an animal.

 

Dirk von Heinrichshorst  

Yeah, I think I mean, I think both both options are right. That means it is still from an animal origin. But obviously, no single animal has been slaughtered for it. Right. So if you’re vegan, because of ethical reasons, I think you could actually choose cultured ingredients as part of your diet. If you are having health issues because of animal origin compounds, then I understand that you also stay away from from cultured ingredients, but it’s up to it’s up to the consumer to decide what he or she prefers, right. So we can only offer this as a as another option to the diet. And people, some people will choose to try it and to continue eating it and others, you know, might just try it once or not at all. And then, you know, just continue with a completely plant based ingredient, which is, of course, a diet, which is of course also fine. Perfect. I just want to maybe come back to what you mentioned about sustainability, because I think that’s an important subject. In general, I would say the cultured meat industry wants to do better, right, but we still need to prove that we can do better, we are saving animal slaughter That goes without saying, normally we will be using less land. And our intention is to do to use less water and less energy. But even one most recent studies are showing very promising numbers. There is still as far as I know, right now, not a single company on the planet who really went into full scale production. So we don’t really have real data yet. And I’m always a bit on the not on the pessimistic side but unrealistic sides you know, we really need to figure out if this is really as sustainable as we all want to and it will be I’m sure, but we still need to prove it this just do anything what I wanted to say, especially when it comes to the feedstock of the cells as well. So we need to make sure that whatever we feed ourselves so they can grow and turn into meat or fat or anything else at some point that that also is sustainable.

 

Andrew D Ive  

You’re absolutely right. I think the logic tells us it should be more sustainable because you know, we’re growing the cells in ultimately you know, more increasingly larger numbers in a in a commercial environment you know, we don’t need the the acres or the you know, the land that we typically need to grow X number of 1000, pigs, chickens, cows, etc. We’re not having to give them water for their lifetime. We’re not having to feed them for their lifetime. We’re not giving them a lot of antibiotics, you know, for cell base, you don’t need lots of antibiotics to keep them healthy in those kinds of environments. So logic tells us it should work but you’re right. And I’ve talked about this before. Right now there are a number of small teams of people around the world getting very very excited and enthusiastic about the the potential and the opportunity and and what they can do in their, in their labs and in their in their cleaning environments. But only a few companies are trying to right now commercially scale it. You guys are one of them, maybe you could argue Memphis meats would be if they rebranded anyway, whatever. Memphis meats are also a company that’s pushing to commercialize this the scale of cell based production. But but you guys, you know, I don’t know many others that are trying to do that yet. So in terms of proving it the jury’s still

 

Dirk von Heinrichshorst  

out. Yes, correct.

 

Andrew D Ive  

All right, let’s, let’s go back. Let’s go back in time just a little bit. Let’s talk and please to kind of take me through the history of Peace of Meat I how you guys got started, you know, was it you and another champion? in a coffee shop somewhere who just sort of had this moment where, you know, why don’t we do this? How did it all get started? And what were the motivations?

 

Dirk von Heinrichshorst  

Okay. Well, before actually started for me, I was fully into blockchain technologies. So I’m an engineer by education, and I’ve worked in it for more than 15 years, and for the past 15 years, then in blockchain technologies before actually deciding to switch my career focus and also dive into other industries. Now, in general, I’ve always been driven by technological innovations. So many things have always been on my radar. And I’ve always tried to build prototypes in one direction or another. But it wasn’t until I was approached by an artist couple actually, who wants to know about the status of cultured meat in general to see whether or not you know, they could do some of the crazy things that they had in mind back then already few years ago. And since I was accepting also assignments a little bit as an innovation consultant, I took on the job and I connected with, with Mark Posts, and he got me some great insights in what cultured meat was and how it was really made. So I literally witnessed how they produce the first cultured meat burger back then. And I was I was completely blown away. I mean, it’s like, well, this is this is amazing, first of all, and second of all, I could see all the problems, all the challenges, all the shortcomings. And for an engineer, that’s fantastic, right? Because we love problems, we love problems, because we want to solve them. And afterwards I was okay, look. This has sparked my interest, to say the least. And so I started digging into the science a bit to technology, I started spreading my wings a little bit reaching out to people connecting now expanding my network a little bit and pitching fuse crazy ideas. And back then it was just me, myself and I and then remember I once made a sending a pitch to new harvest with a team slide that had really like me myself and not in there, like with three different pictures and three different names. Obviously, I didn’t get any grant, but I mean, yeah, I mean, I was an IT engineer, right? So what do you want. But nevertheless, I did find people who did believe in me in the driving force in, in my energy in the dynamics division of where I wanted to go. And in Belgium, I really started putting together some pieces of a puzzle that I could potentially help solve. And that was around a cultural foreground. In collaboration with with Flanders food organization, for example, and Cal living, to name just a few of the people in that Consortium. And at the same time, as I was saying, like, Okay, this is this is just too much for me, personally, I really need other people on board who share this vision, who really want to do this together with me, literally. And soon after I met, I met David and I met also Eva. We worked to work together full time for a couple of months. And after that we decided okay, we’ve now come at a point where we need to formalize this collaboration and we decided to incorporate pieces of meat in August 2019.

 

Andrew D Ive  

And it’s PE PE AC E of Yes,

 

Dirk von Heinrichshorst  

By bringing peace to the meat industry. Fantastic. Yeah. Because it’s my It’s my opinion that, you know, whatever we do in the cultured meat space, we can do that, of course for vegan products, or let’s say alternative meat products. But we could as well do that for the for the conventional industry, right? I mean, in a transitional periods, it’s a bit weird to imagine that cultured meat will disrupt the conventional meat space, just like like that. That’s that’s possible. I mean, everything is a devolution, right? We need to work together. There’s a lot of knowledge and experience also in the conventional meat industry, there’s many ways to collaborate with both the conventional meat industry and the plant based meat industry or the vegan industry for cultured meat company that is, in my opinion, and that’s why I thought the word piece of meat was actually well chosen, like, you know, we can, we can work with all the industries, it’s like a good middle way. It’s it’s practical, it’s it’s solution oriented. And it’s it really avoids going into conflict constantly with one another.

 

Andrew D Ive  

Yeah, I’m never sure why when disruptive companies come along, people consider that to be threatening, and it’s going to ultimately replace or get rid of the the existing companies in the traditional industry. Now, it may change or evolve the traditional industry. But you know, the existing players, the people that were there first, from a corporate company perspective, they have a good understanding of the channels of distribution of the consumer, they’ve got salutely, they’ve got things to bring to the table. And just and if a technology comes along the disrupts, it’s an opportunity to improve, as opposed to replace completely and start all over again. It’s just

 

Dirk von Heinrichshorst  

interesting, correct? Correct. It’s like, for example, if you would, if you would create some kind of synthetic beer, just by the push of the button, you know, you can get any type of beer that you want from a machine, it doesn’t mean that the traditional breweries will cease to exist, just because there’s another kind of technology that, of course, has a lot of benefits also, when it comes to sustainability, right. So you stop shipping 90%, water worldwide, etc. But it doesn’t mean it will replace an industry that is 1000s of years old. That’s just doesn’t happen overnight.

 

Andrew D Ive  

Absolutely. Absolutely. So you mentioned that piece of meat was acquired. I think he mentioned Meat 3d meet tech as the company that yes, did the acquiring. Take us, as far as I know, and maybe I’m sure you know, better than I do. Were you the first cell based company to go through an acquisition with a public company? Is this a kind of? Is this a world’s first or is this you know, this happens all the time. And we just don’t necessarily see it? Because it’s all you know, behind the scenes.

 

Dirk von Heinrichshorst  

I’m not focused on these kinds of things, but a lot, it might well be yes, that we were the first company to be acquired in the space, just as we might also have been the first company to have been given a significant government grant. So we received 3.6 million euro with a consortium of players in Flanders to work on cultured fuax grax in December 20 to 2019 already. And as far as I know, there was no bigger grant given to any cultured meat company, at least by government. Until then, just as I’m saying, as far as I know, I think there has been another company acquired in the space yet.

 

Andrew D Ive  

Got it. So take us through that process. Obviously, there might be things that you can’t talk about or so if if that’s the case, obviously don’t and you won’t anyway, but take us through as you know, you guys started You started it, then David and other folks came on board 2019, you got a great grant from Flanders, etc, very supportive from the government, which, you know, very forward thinking of the government at that point in time. What you guys are obviously, driving this forward, what made the decision to even consider an acquisition, how did that start? How did that conversation start and what were some of the thought processes, either you had as a, as a person, individual or as a team in terms of, you know, that that exit,

 

Dirk von Heinrichshorst  

you know, well, when when the question was first asked by, by me tech We were all surprised. And we didn’t even believe it. Like, are they for real? Like? Right? Obviously, we realized that we were making a lot of progress really fast thing that’s, that’s one of the characteristics of our team. We move fast, we’re very dynamic, we act fast. And the whole team that we have also built today is like that now. So after a while, we started accepting that idea, at least that that offer was also on the table. So we, we started discussing them. In parallel, we also had the option to go for the typical sfbc investment option with a very good lead investor and some great follow on investors. And actually, around the same time, we had two contracts, like fully prepared by by all the lawyers, just what was missing was a signature here or there. Can you see that position? So what do you pick? So what was for us, the decisive moment was that we realized that if we would go for the acquisition, that we would have available to us for the next two years, the Double of the budget that we would have, if we would have chosen the other option. And since we are primarily focused on upscaling the production, and since we realized that we need a lot of resources for that, just having twice the amount of budget to go, there was for us, like a very important argument. I don’t need to tell you that, you know, this wasn’t decided overnight, and we really had many, many discussions on which to which way to go. But in the end, you know, the the balance tipped towards the acquisition, and that’s what we did, and we haven’t regretted it every single second.

 

Andrew D Ive  

Perfect. So now you’ve got double the resources to execute on your your mission and your growth. He said, You haven’t regretted it for a single second, I’m sure you’re being absolutely. Frank about that. Did it create any change in culture or in any change in how you guys work as a team or what you need, you know, what you need to do to kind of move the business forward? Or is it basically exactly the same, and they’re just sort of letting you get on with it. And life is life is exactly the same. But now you’ve just got a lot more money to execute on the mission.

 

Dirk von Heinrichshorst  

It’s even going a lot faster than before. That means we’re hiring people on a continuous basis. We’re buying equipment on a continuous basis. People are certainly cursing behind my back, you know, because of all the people in the staff coming in continuously, we’ve we’ve doubled the size, or even tripled by now the size of our lab space. And we’re already thinking like, oh, man, it’s going to be too small as well, maybe Who knows? next year? Yeah. So it gives us a lot of challenges, right. And as you know, I love challenges, and I love solving problems. But the others on the team also need to follow to follow me and David. And they are and we’re trying to create a really healthy environment, obviously, for people to work in. But yeah, we’re making good progress. And we’re really moving even faster than we did before. And that, of course, is a change. And that’s, that’s clear. On the other hand, you could argue, okay, I’m not a shareholder of Peace of Meat anymore. That’s correct. But I’m also now shareholder of meat tech, right? So for us, that really didn’t change a lot. Although, you could say that since we are also milestone driven, that might interfere with let’s say, the decision making process once in a while, but it really doesn’t know. So since our objectives have been very clear from the beginning, that is to reach upscaled production volumes. We are now say, at Liberty between parenthesis to you know, go all the way at least for two years and that’s that’s fantastic.

 

Andrew D Ive  

So two things I’d like to cover one. I hope I remember the second thing by the time we’ve talked about the first thing give us just kind of a quick snapshot. Not over time you started there was you then you added David and who was the third person again, Eva, Eva? You know, then you Got the $3 million grant, then you sort of grew the business take us through, you mentioned you’ve been adding more and more people to the team. what’s what’s been that growth, like from a people and our team perspective? So you’ve gone 1-3? Take us through some of those sort of milestones. Where are you at now, by the way, in terms of people?

 

Dirk von Heinrichshorst  

Honestly, I don’t know anymore.

 

Andrew D Ive  

I thought you’re gonna say,

 

Dirk von Heinrichshorst  

Yeah, I also don’t think it’s really relevant, right? The number of people, it’s like, when I last checked the numbers, the word 10 people on the payroll, right. Since then, we’ve interviewed and hired even more, so I don’t really know anymore. So we’re less we’re less than 15. That I know. But but we’re hiring on a continuous basis.

 

Andrew D Ive  

I think the reason I’m asking is because any founders, any entrepreneurs out there, just I want to give them a sort of an order of magnitude of, you know, this is the kind of pace of growth that you might experience as an as a new founder. So I’m not necessarily interested in you saying, well, we had three here and seven hearing, you know, 12 here, as much. As you know, we’ve doubled and tripled over the last 12 months. And the other question I think they would be interested in if they were founders listening to this is, you know, how do you, you know, one of the things most founders, CEOs and early stage teams do is find think about the culture that they want to create, in their firm, they want to do things maybe differently than companies they’ve worked in in the past, or that they’ve seen in the past. How do you try and keep hold of that culture or make sure that that culture grows in the right way as you’re scaling? From a recruitment perspective? so quickly? How do you hold on to what, how do you hold on to what’s special about Peace of Meat and what you’ve been building so far?

 

Dirk von Heinrichshorst  

Yeah, that’s actually a very good question. And it’s not an easy task, right? I mean, growing so fast, in all honesty, I would prefer that by the end of the year pieces, meters already with 20 people, because we definitely need that kind of that many people, you know, this, this, just so much things to do so much. Rows to follow, and paths to explore this, this really enough work for even 40 people, let’s say, but realistically, I would say if we’re getting get to 15, between 15 and 20 people by the end of the year, that will be already great. And next to that, to answer your question, yes. We talked about that a lot. In the beginning, we grew organically. But then you need to really start implementing some kind of what Professor Paul mazzi Acharya Chief Scientific Officer would say, we need to implement a chain of command. Right, so Dr. mosiac, as the CSO was responsible for the scientific team. After a while, he also decided to divide people into small teams. And now these teams have gotten also team leaders. underneath each team, the number of scientists is growing, one of the teams is already relatively big. So there might be also like sub teams coming. So we tried to do that little bit, still organically, but at the same time, also better organized. And with a clear, let’s say, reporting chain. So normally, things do not easily turn up on my desk anymore, like the smaller issues, although it’s still possible, right? Because I’m always there on the floor. But nevertheless, by respecting a little bit, the chain of command, and the team leadership and the you know, the different teams growing in different directions, still working closely together. We have been so far, able to manage it quite well, I would say.

 

Andrew D Ive  

Perfect. How would you describe the Peace of Meat culture?

 

Unknown Speaker  

Nuts?

 

Dirk von Heinrichshorst  

Yeah, I mean, like I said, I think in general, we’re very dynamic, result driven team. And internally, we make a lot of progress very fast, and we have the resources to do it. So this is really typical for Peace of Meat, a very dynamic, open minded company, everybody in there really goes for it all the way and is of course passionate about what he or she is doing. And that’s that’s how we like it. That’s how it should be. And of course, I hope and pray that we can continue to keep this spirit also In the future, when the team grows bigger will become a challenge. But we will do anything we can really to, to to listen to everybody, not to just impose our commands, but really work with the people give everybody a voice, you know, these kind of things. We’ve been doing it also in the past, and we will continue to do it, of course, in the future. Perfect.

 

Andrew D Ive  

You mentioned a few times when describing the choice between the VC term sheets and supporting VC investors versus the acquisition. You kind of talked about a two year cycle of resources ahead. So you know, you decided to choose the acquisition, because you’ve got two years of double the resources. What happens? You know, what, what happens at the end of that two years? Is that about getting a new budget or, like, I’m wondering why that two years is a thing.

 

Dirk von Heinrichshorst  

That was basically part of the conditions of the of the sales and purchase agreement, right. So some conditions have been put forward, have been negotiated. And we decided upon a two year trajectory to reach certain milestones together. So that’s why the two years has been embedded into this agreement. Afterwards, of course, we will continue right, we will not stop at certain volumes, we need to go to the fully operational factories. And for that we need obviously still a little bit more than two years. But we’re already planning this and talking to governments that we can work together with, you know, in different countries as well. We’re based in Flanders, and Antwerp, City of Antwerp, and the Flemish government has been highly supportive of us. So we’re, of course, also very happy to continue that collaboration. But we’re working towards bigger scale factories. And yeah, for that new investments will need to come on board, and so on and so on. And that’s a different kind of focus, right? I mean, or an additional focus, let’s say. So you will probably hear us talking more about what we are doing now until the end of next year. But what comes after is, of course, the continuance of what we’re doing today.

 

Andrew D Ive  

Absolutely. So you mentioned that Flanders was was forward thinking versus most other governments by backing you guys by, you know, giving a good sized grant on the cell based side, as you know, today, and the only country that allows the sale of cell based meat, seafood or dairy is Singapore. Do you see Flanders because of that forward thinking approach, that they’ll be a country that will deregulate and allow the sale of the cell based products to for human consumption? Or is that just I mean, obviously, you’ve got so many other things to worry about, maybe that’s not on your radar screen at all. But what what would be your prediction of, you know, either other countries or Flanders in particular, as far as, you know, allowing the consumption and sale of these these ingredients?

 

Dirk von Heinrichshorst  

Well, I think like all European companies, we will go for European approval. It’s called the novel food procedure that we all have to go through. So once we have reached the final stage of our prototype, that means a real prototype that is ready to go into production is the next step, not what I would call a proof of concept that you can take a picture of, and, you know, write an article about once you reached a real prototype stage, then you can file for regulatory approval, you go to the novel, through procedures still takes some time, because this includes many different steps, may different tests and so on, before you can actually get an approval for your product as a food ingredient. And this is what we’re going to do. We didn’t start that yet. But obviously, we have been well, we are well prepared. We know what to do, where to do it and with whom to do it as soon as we’ve reached that prototype stage. And I cannot tell you when that will be. But the sooner the better, obviously.

 

Andrew D Ive  

So two steps, at least well, multiple steps, but two big milestones. One is getting the production, the technology, etc, to the point where it’s a it’s a commercially viable product. And second, then you would start going through the novel, novel food. Is that what you call it novel first, through approval process with the European community. Does anyone have any kind of suggested timelines of what the European community would you know, the Of how long the European community would typically take to go through that process. Is it a, you know, is it a one year or five year process or somewhere in between.

 

Dirk von Heinrichshorst  

As nobody has done it yet, I cannot tell you how long it will take. But we’re expecting around the year, approximately, hopefully, I’m not expecting less could it could also be a year and a half, who knows, but some, some company needs to do it, as the first cultured meat company might be asked might be one of our colleagues, I don’t know. But it’s important that I mean, in my opinion, it’s important that you wait until you’ve reached a very mature prototype stage. Otherwise, it’s a waste of money and time. And because you have to repeat the process if you change your product. I mean, today, we could also create, let’s say, plant based nuggets with our cultured fat inside and you know, sell that to the customer. That’s perfectly possible we could do that. And like in the restaurant, but we’re not doing it because we’re like, Okay, this is not our final product. If we want to create a hype. Yeah, we could, but you know, we prefer to focus on the on, you know, the development?

 

Andrew D Ive  

would be I don’t know that you’ll be allowed to sell it, though, would you?

 

Dirk von Heinrichshorst  

No, we wouldn’t? Exactly, yeah, but we could do it in Singapore, for example.

 

Andrew D Ive  

Okay, so got it. So in terms of other countries, is this Do you see this? Is this something you guys need to do in Europe? And once you’ve done it in Europe, then you’ll only be limp, you’ll be limited? Not not the being able to sell something across Europe not limited, but you wouldn’t then be able to sell it in the US, I guess what I’m wondering about is do you need to get approval company by company in the cell based category. So you guys would need to get approval for your product in Europe, and then you would need to go and get approval for your product in North America, etc, etc. Or is it you know, cell based needs to get approved. And once you’ve once it’s done that you guys will be able to sell your product in multiple markets who have signed on, if you like, to the fact that cell based is identical at the cellular level to the meat we’ve been eating for hundreds of years.

 

Dirk von Heinrichshorst  

As far as I know, every single company will need to apply separately. And when it comes to region, yes, we’ll have to apply in Europe, as well as in the United States, as well as in Asia, etc. Once multiple companies have applied, maybe there will be some changes in the regulatory framework that of course, I cannot predict. But I think it’s logical that every single company needs to apply because every single company is using different techniques, different processes, different cell types, for example, different feedstock. So all these kind of things are important for the regulator to know and need to be very well documented, including, of course, also, where the genetic material comes from, it’s very important that the animal cells that are that you’re using, are actually also allowed to be used for commercial purposes. That’s why we I’ve always said from the very beginning, like, Look, okay, if we’re going to use the genetic material of certain animal, we need to talk to the breeders because they need to give us permission. And we know that there are certain breeders out there, who do not give permission to cultivate companies to use genetic materials for commercial purposes. So you have to be careful where you get your cells from.

 

Andrew D Ive  

So there’s like a copyright equivalent for animals where if you buy an animal, and from a farmer, the farmer owns the copyright of that animal.

 

Dirk von Heinrichshorst  

I wouldn’t say it’s a copyright. But imagine that you have a breeder that has spent decades on developing a certain species and really making money in our case with the eggs, with the animals sells the animals, like like for meat or for the eggs. And then all of a sudden you just buy the say, hundreds of 1000s of eggs, what you want to use to create your cell line with and then you say, Okay, that was nice, you know, we’ve, we’ve spent a few $1,000 with you, but now we’re going to say bye bye. And we’re going to use it to disrupt your own industry, they will not like that. Yes, yeah. That’s totally logical, right? That you just work together and that you make make damn sure that whatever source that you’re using that you know, you have a good agreement with the breeder.

 

Andrew D Ive  

Perfect. So one more question before we sort of I asked the last question that I normally ask the one Question is, you guys started early? What year? Did you start into it? 2018 2017 August 2019 2019, you guys got $3 million from Flanders, you ended up getting investment from us and others. Eventually, you guys got a big chunk of change for the acquisition by 3d Meat Tech. If there are founders out there who are like you, you know, engineers who see problems that need to be stopped. Well, actually, that’s if there are engineers out there who are looking at this and thinking, you know, is there still problems that need to be solved? Can I add value to this? You know, this categories of cell based? Are there already enough companies solving these problems? Like you guys? Is there still room for somebody to start from today or tomorrow and kind of get get involved in this in this industry and this opportunity, or all of the good seats at the table already taken?

 

Dirk von Heinrichshorst  

Absolutely not. So if there’s one thing that I can immediately tell those people is that we are the industry, in general, in my opinion, desperately needs sustainable solutions for the feedstock of ourselves. So we’re using several compounds in our medium that our cells need and eat, to grow, to duplicate and to turn into muscle or fat or anything else. We need products like amino acids that are sustainable. And today, we’re on a quest to find out how sustainable the compounds that we’re purchasing from established suppliers are actually sustainable. Right? What is the ecological footprint of these of these compounds? We need to know? And I’m a bit afraid that we will not like the answer if we find out. So any initiative working on sustainable compounds for the media that we’re using? I would, I would embrace that immediately.

 

Andrew D Ive  

So there’s a scientist or a couple of scientists in a lab somewhere who are wondering, where do they go now with their future? They could be the answer to this problem or one answer to this problem if they start dedicating their time and thoughts to solving some of these problems, that in other words, there’s still enough problems, challenges, opportunities, innovations required for the cell based industry, for many people to be busy for decades ahead.

 

Dirk von Heinrichshorst  

Absolutely. Absolutely. And that’s just one example. And there’s many other examples I could give.

 

Andrew D Ive  

Awesome. So where would people get a hold of Dirk and Peace of Meat if they wanted to become one of your ever growing team of people if they wanted to, you know, support what you’re doing, you know, somehow get involved, where would be a good place for them to engage with Peace of Meat. Find me on LinkedIn, and fight me for a beer. Real beer or a synthetic beer that doesn’t require shipping?

 

Dirk von Heinrichshorst  

The molecular beer, that would be nice. That’d be lovely, wouldn’t it?

 

Andrew D Ive  

So give people your LinkedIn, you know your full name so that people can find you on LinkedIn.

 

Dirk von Heinrichshorst  

Okay, that’s a challenge. You have to look me up under the name Heinrichshorst , which is German. That’s because I’ve lived many years in Germany, but I’m not German. And you spell it as follows. It’s…

 

H, e, i, n, r, i c h s, h o r s t.

 

If that doesn’t work, just Google Peace of Meat and you’ll find our website and our LinkedIn page.

 

Andrew D Ive  

And Peace of Meat again for folks is peace. P-E-A-C-E, as it peace, hyphen, of hyphen Maet.com. Or is it 

 

Unknown Speaker  

correct? Yes. So Dirk@peace-of-meet.com with the hyphens also works.

 

Andrew D Ive  

Awesome. So if anyone needs to find you to give you help, love and support, those are some of the ways they can do so. Any last thoughts before we run off for today?

 

Dirk von Heinrichshorst  

Not really, I wish everybody a great day and a lot of inspiration, right? So for me, technological innovations have driven my entire career. And I know that’s the same for a lot of other people. And while innovating, we’re trying to create, say, a better world for everyone. And that’s that’s the main driver of many of us. And that’s also something I wish to stimulate. That we need to keep doing this. And hopefully that leads to really great discoveries also in the near future.

 

Andrew D Ive  

I think that’s that’s a perfect way to end this. Also interesting that of all of the things you’ve tried to accomplish in your career, some of which are, you know, potentially changing the world. Tackling daily, enormous challenges that are reinventing or evolving an industry, the most difficult thing for you is actually finding your LinkedIn using your, your, your German name. I think of all the problems you’ve encountered, I’m surprised you think that’s the most difficult. Alright, I really enjoyed having a conversation with you again, anyone listening to this, if you want to reach out to PCE PE AC E of meat, please do. So super great team super great people doing amazing things. I’m going to stay stuck and I’m going to pause the video. Perfect.

 

Dirk von Heinrichshorst  

Thanks again.

 

Andrew D Ive  

So I hope you enjoyed that conversation with Dirk from Peace of Meat. Thanks for coming along today. I hope you do subscribe to this podcast, and so that we can give you updates as we bring them to you on a weekly basis. So if you have questions or comments, please do reach out to Dirk or to us. Please do like and subscribe. Thanks a lot. This is Andrew from Big Idea Ventures. And this is the big idea food podcast. Many thanks until next week.

Lorem ipsum | Vietnam | cesiscompany.vn

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