Mogale Meat Co Is Hungry To Create Jobs While Saving The Planet

By Tshidiso Masopha

Thato Zanele Skosana, a 25-year-old female, a film and Television entertainment graduate from Kagiso partnered with ZA Power House Foundation.

Peter Bartels is the founder of Mogale Meat, a nonprofit on a mission to provide affordable,

healthy and nutritious cell cultivated meat products to SA’s growing population with the use of bio-technologies.

Source: Facebook

Located in a secluded laboratory in Pelindaba, Hartebeesport, Mogale Meat Co has been working up an appetite for success since its birth in 2020. The NPO has discovered innovative ways to grow cultivated meat products whilst prioritising people, animals and the environment. Bartels’ professional experience is rooted in wildlife conservation. When he’s not making meat from scratch with his team of six, he lectures in wildlife diseases and game management.

Currently, the cost of a cultivated chicken burger is about R200 (The first ever cultured burger cost around R5 million). Mogale Meat Co is determined to make cultured meat accessible. The organisation is driven to promote the cultivated meat industry and its clear benefits, as well as develop relevant skills within SA.

The UN Food & Agriculture Organisation established that 14.5% of global greenhouse emissions are produced by livestock. In addition, the food industry accounts for a third of global carbon emissions. Using bioreactors, Peter Bartels and his team are ensuring that consumers will be able to eat meat without any animals having been harmed.

Bartels conveyed that while a cow takes roughly 18 months to yield 250kg of meat, the same can be accomplished in a lab within three months with no waste in the form of horns and bones.

Mogale Meat Co’s vision includes a plan to establish multiple small scale bioreactors based in rural areas where the need for meat is substantial. “The idea is to have a set-up that can be picked up, placed wherever there’s a great need for food, and they can start cultivating meat on demand.”

Rosa Chinheya is a cell culture scientist for Mogale Meat Co

Mogale Meat Co has recently secured funding from the US and Canada. In November the organisation will be competing in the semifinals of the $15m (R270m) Xprize Feed the Next Billion competition in Abu Dhabi. Beyond feeding consumers without putting the lives of animals at stake, Mogale Meat is training and recruiting staff, partnering with universities and calling for more investors. “If developments progress well, enough engineers are trained, bioreactors secured, and the legislation is processed quickly, cellular agriculture could go commercial within six to eight years,” Bartels said.