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  • (The content in this video was relevant when published on 25 July 2019. Current views may differ)

  • Seventy percent of the planet's freshwater is used in agriculture, yet a third of our food is thrown away, uneaten.

  • Livestock takes up nearly 80% of farmed land globally, yet produces less than 20% of the world's supply of calories.

  • And all the while, the number of mouths we need to feed keeps growing.

  • A new white paper from UBS explains why the world is at a food crossroads,

  • and examines the investment opportunities provided by alternative, so-called "clean" ways to feed the planet.

  • In an era obsessed with changing technology and disruption, the food and agricultural sector has largely flown under the radar.

  • That's changing now, with an agricultural revolution under way, from the garden to the grill.

  • Last year, the processed meat market grew just 2%.

  • By contrast, the alternative meat space grew by 22%.

  • Major international processors have gone from dismissing the segment to buying stakeswhich could unlock the next leg of growth.

  • 2018 was a breakout year for plant-based meats, with the overall market growing to just under US$5 billion dollars.

  • But with a 28% compounded annual growth rate ahead through 2030, we expect this market to balloon to US$85 billion.

  • Today, start-ups are the driving force behind the plant-based protein market.

  • Beyond Meat looks set to have had one of the most successful offerings of 2019.

  • And the success of the recent funding round by Impossible Foods also suggests a healthy appetite for investment...

  • It's Impossible Burger requires approximately 87% less water and 96% less land,

  • and generates about 89% lower greenhouse gas emissions than a conventional burger from cows.

  • The UBS Private Capital Markets team believes the opportunity for raising capital for private companies in the clean food space is significant;

  • from pre-IPO capital and single-asset real estate fund raises, to private credit alternatives.

  • In addition to plant-based proteins, the clean food sector also encompasses the nascent cellular meat industry.

  • You can actually identify a cell from a cow or a chicken, and we do this here, identify nutrients to feed that cell, and make meat without needing the animal.

  • In so doing you don't need a third of the world's ice-free land to plant sewing corn.

  • You can do it in a much more efficient way, in a way that's free of antibiotics...

  • a way that's even free of, you know, needing all the animals and some of the issues that go along with that.

  • But don't expect to see lab-grown beef side-by-side with wagyu fillets in a supermarket any time soon.

  • Cellular meat is more likely to become an ingredient.

  • However, it's early daysmany potential regulatory questions remain unanswered.

  • the current price per kilo is prohibitively high, and start-ups point out it's too early for them to model.

  • One of the challenges for cultured meat is to scale it up.

  • So today we use a 500 liter bioreactor, ultimately we'll need to get to a thousand, and ten thousand, eventually a hundred thousand.

  • We're not trying to feed ourselves, we're trying to feed the world.

  • Whilst an OECD report shows global meat consumption has peaked and the shift is underway,

  • a coalition that includes non-traditional investors, entrepreneurs, growers, and governments will need to work together to meet the challenges ahead.

  • To move forward, we need to dispel the myth that technology is the enemy of natural, abundant and affordable food.

  • Meat alternatives alone are not going to solve the world's food and health issues overnight.

  • But they will play a crucial role if we are to meet the UN Sustainable Development Goals by 2030.

(The content in this video was relevant when published on 25 July 2019. Current views may differ)

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