Left: Peter Stahl, President of the German Dairy Association MIV, right: Prof. Nick Lin-hi; taken at the agm of MIV on 22 October 2021 in Hamburg
Speaking at the agm of the German Dairy Association MIV on 22 October in Hamburg, Nick Lin-Hi, Professor of Economics and Ethics at the University of Vechta, who deals with the economic consequences of disruptive developments, asked whether milk will come out of the laboratory in 20 years from now. For Lin-Hi, the dairy industry is “old school” compared to other economic sectors; it has not produced any major innovations, except that efficiency has always been increased. Progress has always been linear. It is important to remember that 30% of climate gas emissions are caused by food, half of which is caused by animal production, he said. At the same time, the world population will increase to 10 billion people by 2050, and growing prosperity will increase the demand for animal products by 60%. This shows the limits for classical agriculture; if nothing is done, the consumption of animal products will have to be severely restricted.
With cellular agriculture, a leap innovation is developing that can make sustainable food systems possible. Its products are more sustainable compared to original products and will one day also be cheaper. At the same time, the consumer will not experience any loss of enjoyment, and these cellular products can also be healthier. The start-ups working on cellular or fermentative products will drive the classic dairy industry argumentatively before them, Lin-Hi expects. In order to avoid a lump risk, the dairy industry must get its foot in the door, build up new “cellular” business fields, and do so before the expected triumph of the alternatives starts. Lin-Hi is convinced that the biggest revolution in the history of nutrition on the horizon will simply catch consumers with the price argument in the end.