Cultivate is a multi-voiced forum intended to support informed dialogue about the emergent field of cellular agriculture from UK perspectives. It was established in summer 2016 by a small interdisciplinary group of UK professionals working in the area. The group initially came together during a dialogue exercise with government that involved multiple visits to 10 Downing Street to discuss cultured meat (aka cell-based meat, clean meat, in vitro meat). Through these meetings the group decided to formalise their activities under the title Cultivate and expand their remit to contribute to events, maintain an online presence, and provide a focal point for UK cellular agriculture activity.
Cellular Agriculture is a term referring to a collection of technologies seeking to produce consumables that are traditionally produced in livestock-based agriculture systems through other means such as fermentation or tissue engineering, with key examples including meat, milk, leather and egg. The definition of cellular agriculture remains mobile as new technologies emerge and new viewpoints on the technologies arise, and Cultivate acknowledge and examine this variability.
Cultivate is important because it forms a UK space for professionals and interested parties in cellular agriculture to come together and discuss the technologies and their impact. Cellular agriculture promises much in terms of environmental, animal ethics, health and economic benefit, but it is vital that these issues are examined critically to assess likely outcomes in the environment and society.
In 2018 the Cultivate founders published a peer-reviewed open access academic paper reviewing cellular agriculture with a specific focus on cultured meat. The paper is an expanded and revised update of a policy document that Cultivate members provided to the UK government. It is available here: Bringing cultured meat to market: Technical, socio-political, and regulatory challenges in cellular agriculture.
Cultivate runs a public LinkedIn group. UK cellular agriculture stakeholders are welcome to request to join.
17th December 2020: Cultivate 2020. To be held online, 4-7pm (UK time), more details coming soon.
26th November 2019: Cultivate 2019. Oxford Martin School, Oxford University
15th November 2018: Cultivate 2018. 83 Pall Mall, London
7th December 2017: Cultivate 2017. 83 Pall Mall, London
6th December 2016: Cultivate 2016. Chapel Arts Centre, Bath
Illtud Dunsford: Illtud is a Farmer, Agri-Food Consultant and the CEO of the UK's first cell based meat company; Cellular Agriculture Ltd.
Dr Marianne Ellis: Marianne is a Biochemical Engineer at the University of Bath, where she carries out research and teaching in tissue engineering bioprocess design
Abigail Glencross. On a journey. Will be back soon.
Dr Alexandra Sexton: Alexandra is a geographer at Oxford University and has been studying the social and political aspects of cellular agriculture and plant-based alternatives since 2013. She is currently a researcher on the 'Livestock, Environment and Planning' (LEAP) project funded by Wellcome's Our Planet, Our Health initiative.
Dr Neil Stephens: Neil is a sociologist and Wellcome Trust Research Fellow at Brunel University London who has studied the socio-cultural aspects of cultured meat since 2008.
We regularly publish and speak about our work in this space
Cultivate is a volunteer led activity, running as a low cost operation. We acknowledge the support of University of Bath in supporting our annual meetings in 2016, 2017 and 2018 and to Oxford Martin School in 2019. Individual founders have also provided low level funds to cover basic running costs.
We are pleased to receive communication via the below form. However, as a volunteer led organisation, we cannot guarantee a swift reply.