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We Changed Our Mission, Here’s Why 🚀

In late 2020, New Harvest decided to update our mission statement. Our new mission is about ensuring cellular agriculture delivers on its promise to make the world a better place.

Published March 22, 2021 | Updated October 4, 2021 | Isha Datar

✨ The following text is an excerpt from our strategic plan, which you can read in full here. ✨

Ten years ago, the concept of growing meat, milk, or eggs without farming animals was little more than science fiction.

Today, we see a burgeoning landscape of nearly one hundred cellular agriculture companies attracting over one billion dollars in investment, creating hundreds of jobs, and taste-testing prototypes on a regular basis (1).

These are the promising beginnings of a much longer story. The potential impact that cellular agriculture can have—for animals, for people, and for the planet—has yet to be realized.

In late 2020, we decided to revise our mission statement. Our previous mission was “to build the field of cellular agriculture.” Our new mission is to maximize the positive impact of cellular agriculture on the world.

Our new mission is about building the field while also ensuring that cellular agriculture delivers on its promises to end our dependence on animal agriculture, reduce the impact of protein production on our environment and public health, and improve our global food system. We must acknowledge that positive impacts are not innately built into the advancement of technology.

“The most widely held views of technologies fail to reflect the complexity of our relationship with them” (2).

We believe that positive impact is maximized—and our mission realized—when cellular agriculture is:

  • Accessible, such that anyone in the world can participate in the understanding, production and consumption of cellular agriculture products;
  • Applicable, such that cell ag technologies can be applied accordingly to different cultures, regions, and cuisines; and
  • Accountable, such that claims can be substantiated and there is transparency along the length of the supply chain.

Cellular agriculture is a transformative technology that will change our world. This is both an opportunity and a responsibility to create a world that is better than the one we inhabit today.

“When the goal is to create something that is beneficial for the world, rather that beneficial for the market, everything gets reconsidered” (3).

Our food system is not the only system that is ready to be re-envisioned. In working towards our mission we uncover shortcomings in academia, philanthropy, and policy that warrant updating in our modern world. We want to see our work leave a wake of positive impacts in everything we touch—and for cellular agriculture to spark greater transformation beyond its own boundaries.

To learn more about how we plan to work towards our mission, take a look at our collectively crafted 2020-2025 Strategic Plan.

The plan is a culmination of months of conversations with dozens of founders, researchers, and stakeholders inside and adjacent to cellular agriculture. We’re incredibly proud of what this community has put together: a human-centered strategy to realizing positive impact in the world.

The fact that we have come to a point where we must re-articulate our mission is an incredible shared success. A testament to the commitment of our donors and community members all around the world.

Thank you ALL for bringing us to this inflection point! I’m looking forward to where the next five years take us.

[1] Khan, A. (2020). CellAgri Investment Report (Rep.). Retrieved https://www.cell.ag/reports
[2] Philbeck, T., Davis, N., & Engtoft Larsen, A. (2018, August). Values, Ethics and Innovation: Rethinking Technological Development in the Fourth Industrial Revolution (White Paper). Retrieved http://www3.weforum.org/docs/WEF_WP_Values_Ethics_Innovation_2018.pdf
[3] Philbeck, T., Davis, N., & Engtoft Larsen, A. (2018, August). Values, Ethics and Innovation: Rethinking Technological Development in the Fourth Industrial Revolution (White Paper). Retrieved http://www3.weforum.org/docs/WEF_WP_Values_Ethics_Innovation_2018.pdf

About the Authors
Isha Datar is Executive Director at New Harvest