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.
A second paper was published in 2020 and is available here: Cellular agriculture in the UK: a review.
And a third paper was published in 2022, and is available here: The triple bottom line framework can connect people, planet and profit in cellular agriculture.
Cultivate runs a public LinkedIn group. UK cellular agriculture stakeholders are welcome to request to join.