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The future of the lab-grown meat supply chain

Trade Reimagined

More and more people are looking for alternatives to meat as clean eating and an environmentally conscious lifestyle has become the norm. Lab-grown meat is set to become a growing part of the world’s diet, and port-centric logistics is helping to reduce the bill.

Lab grown meat produces less carbon dioxide than traditional meat and its production costs have rapidly decreased in the last decade. The cost of this “clean meat” has been reduced from $300,000 per serving in 2013, to just $11 today, thanks to advances in cellular agriculture technology and increased scale in production.  

Although lab-grown meat is not yet available commercially, demand is expected to grow exponentially. Start-ups such as Eat Just and Future Meat Technologies are working on bringing this alternative meat to the mainstream which includes everything from lab-grown pork to 3D printed wagyu beef.  

As we shift towards a net-zero world, lab-grown meat will be in high demand, and to transport these alternative meat options from manufacturer to consumer, both lab-grown meat producers and retailers must take a close look at their supply chain.  

A responsive supply chain will be key and port-centric logistics can play a vital role.  

Lab-grown meat versus traditional meat  

Typically, the supply chains for traditional poultry and meat products can get long and complex. Its short shelf life means maintaining temperature throughout the supply chain is vital and involves significant costs. 

Traditional meat also involves several touch points across the supply chain, including farm operations, feedlot operations, and packing, processing, and retail operations. The combination of this leads to a carbon footprint of 22kg CO2 equivalent per kg of live weight. 

The process of lab-grown meat has lower refrigeration costs and does not involve the multiple stages of farming and processing. It offers a new paradigm in which both ports and the planet can benefit. Bioreactors can replace intensive agriculture and reduced carbon emissions benefit the planet, while ports can benefit from increased demand. 

The power of port-centric logistics  

Alternative meat is nothing short of a revolution and experts predict it will inevitably disrupt the $2.7 trillion global meat market. As a result, lab-grown meat will need a supply chain that is responsive to ever-growing demand.  

Port-centric logistics will be the key to unlock the true potential of this market since it achieves significant transportation cost savings, shorter lead times and more streamlined supply chains. 

DP World is a leader in port-centric logistics, whilst our speciality in smarter logistics is an integral part of the supply chain for stakeholders. 

Since the 2000s, DP World has built an extensive network of logistics assets. Lab-grown meat providers do not have to pay hefty costs for warehouse spaces, instead, they can bring their manufacturer bases closer to key logistic hubs such as ports, allowing them to manufacture on demand. 

This benefit is not just restricted to lab-grown meat producers, DP World is also exceptionally well positioned to help retailers decrease time and cost in their supply chains. 

While our experience in international markets can identify packets of growth, and the agility to place products before consumers.  

If the world is to meet carbon emissions outlined in the Paris Agreement, then lab-grown meat and DP World’s logistical network will be a key part of the solution.