Aleph Farms, the cultivated meat firm growing steaks from non-genetically engineered animal cells, revealed that Israeli Chief Rabbi, David Baruch Lau, ruled its steak to be kosher, permitting its consumption by Jews under religious law. This ruling, from the leader of the Chief Rabbinate — a bellwether rabbinic council for religious certifications in Judaism — opens the door for Aleph Farms to receive a kosher certificate ahead of its launch later this year.
What does the ruling mean for Aleph Farms?
“This ruling is meaningful not only for Aleph Farms but also for the entire cultivated meat industry. It sets a foundation for an inclusive public discourse about the intersection of tradition and innovation in society,” said Didier Toubia, Co-Founder and CEO of Aleph Farms.
“At Aleph, we innovate in order to provide quality nutrition to anyone, anytime, anywhere in service of the planet, and that includes people with different culinary traditions. We’re excited that more groups of diners can enjoy our products regardless of their religion, helping us to advance our inclusive vision for food security and tap into different food cultures worldwide.”
This ruling indicates an openness among religious authorities to certify cultivated meat products as appropriate to consume and paves the way forward as Aleph Farms works to get kosher certification for its production facility in Rehovot and its individual products. Aleph Farms is also in contact with Muslim, Hindu and other religious authorities to certify its products as a viable dietary option for groups that have different religious practices.
What is the global landscape of kosher beef?
The global kosher beef market size is expected to reach about $100.85bn by 2030. The preference for kosher beef in countries like the US, France and Israel, which have the highest Jewish populations and account for over 86% of the Jewish population, is driving the market.
In 2021, approximately 73.9% of Israel’s population was Jewish, making it a key market for kosher beef. This ground-breaking ruling indicates that upon market launch in Israel, expected in the near future, local authorities will likely confirm Aleph Farms cultivated steaks are kosher, enabling Jewish diners who observe kashrut to incorporate them into their diets.
Aleph Farms is working closely with regulatory agencies as it prepares for the commercial launch of its first product, a cultivated thin-cut beef steak. The firm also plans to produce different cuts of steak as well as cultivated collagen through additional proprietary capabilities.
Aleph Farms’ products are produced from starter cells that come from a fertilized egg, which was sourced from a premium Black Angus cow named Lucy – she lives on a breeding farm in California. From a one-time collection of Lucy’s fertilized egg, Aleph Farms can grow thousands of tons of cultivated meat without engineering or immortalizing cells, avoiding slaughter and acting as part of an inclusive solution for sustainable and secure food systems.