Angus Cultivated Beef Tasting at the Iceland Innovation Week

Iceland, May 16, 2024 - The Icelandic biotechnology company ORF Genetics and Ivy Farm Technologies, the English producers of cultivated meat, hosted a well-attended event at the Iceland Innovation Week, on May 16th, featuring interesting panel discussions and a tasting of cultivated beef.

Angus beef is considered top-of-the-line in terms of high-quality meat, and at the event, ORF and Ivy Farm offered delicious meatballs made from cultivated meat from Angus beef cells. Chef Ólafur Örn Ólafsson, owner and chef of the renowned Reykjavík restaurant Brút, prepared the course, serving delectable meatballs that a few lucky attendees were able to enjoy.

Chef Ólafur Örn Ólafsson - Owner of Brút:

„I couldn't believe how enjoyable it was to work with cultivated beef, which is essentially just meat grown using new technology. In fact, it would be very difficult or even impossible for most foodies to distinguish between cultivated beef and traditionally grown. Cultivated meat is, of course, not singular; it can be grown from the cells of any animal, and it will be very exciting to see these environmentally friendly options develop further. High-quality protein that can appeal to both vegetarians and meat-eaters alike!“

Iceland Innovation Week is held annually in May with the purpose of promoting Icelandic innovation and businesses. The event featured interesting panel discussions, where Ásthildur Otharsdóttir moderated discussions between Riley Jackson from Ivy Farm, Björn Lárus Örvar, co-founder of ORF Genetics, and Birgitta Guðrún Schepsky Ásgrímsdóttir, co-founder of Sea Growth, about the importance of cultivated meat and seafood in the fight against climate change. Many stakeholders from the food and technology/industries attended the event, along with Áslaug Arna Sigurbjörnsdóttir, Minister of Education, Industry, and Innovation, and Bjarkey Olsen Gunnarsdóttir, Minister of Food, Agriculture and Fisheries.

Áslaug Arna Sigurbjörnsdóttir, Minister of Education, Industry, and Innovation:

„It is very exciting to see the developments in cultivated meat production globally and it is particularly enjoyable to see an Icelandic company, ORF Genetics, taking part in this. Iceland Innovation Week has been very diverse, and getting to taste meat from Ivy Farm was a great experience.“

ORF Genetics has put a significant effort in recent years to enable the production of cultivated meat by providing high-quality animal growth factors from barley. The company has worked diligently to build a product line for the cultivated meat market while increasing its production capacity to meet growing demand.

Berglind Rán Ólafsdóttir, CEO of ORF Genetics:

„It's wonderful to be able to offer Icelanders the opportunity to be among the first to taste this foodof the future and experience that cultivated meat will not only become a sustainable choice in the food supply in the coming years but also a delicious one. The impact of cultivated meat on the Icelandic food market could be significant. However, it is important that laws and regulations regarding food keep up with technological advancements to ensure that such climate-friendly innovations can thrive. Fortunately, we find a strong willingness from the authorities to support this development.“

Ivy Farm Technologies is a leading meat production company in Britain that aims to produce meat in a new way to address one of the world's largest sources of pollution - industrial agriculture - and assist the world in achieving its carbon neutrality goals. The company originated from the University of Oxford and has developed a unique technology that enables it to tackle challenges related to increased production and cost reduction in the industry.

Rich Dillon, CEO of Ivy Farm Technologies

„Ivy Farm was proud to provide our delicious and nutritious Angus for the tasting. We learned a lot from the chef and panel feedback for future R+D to make the product even better. Iceland is setting a leading example in how to support innovative technology and alternative proteins.“