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Making Meat in Africa.

A new place for braaivleis!

Mzansi is a word understood by all but its meaning cuts a little deeper. It’s that place in your mind when you’re coming home for the first time in ages, the smell of the braai that brings you back to childhood, or that spirit of togetherness you feel in your core. We’re here to bring that magic of Mzansi to life through delicious, homegrown meat.

We’ve always had a thing for meat. It’s easy to see why – meat goes with all occasions and brings us together to make moments more flavourful. It’s also a rich form of protein loved by cultures the world over. The journey from the source to our plate however, comes at a cost. That’s where Mzansi Meat Co. was born – out of a relentless pursuit to reimagine our food systems and the way we make meat. We’re bringing healthy, accessible and affordable meat to your braais, potjies and shisa nyamas by growing it from cells, without harming animals.

We like to keep it real just like the meat we make.

Check out how we do it.

Our process starts with a visit to our local farm animal sanctuary where our donor animals are living their best life, in peace. Our registered state veterinarian removes tiny tissue cells from the animal with as little harm as possible. Once the cells are harvested, a sample is placed in a nutrient-rich transport medium and taken to our lab where we isolate the cells and grow them in a culture medium. This is a special type of food containing vitamins, salts and proteins that the cells need to develop and divide. Once we have enough cells, we place them on an edible structure and after adding a few additional spices and flavours, our meat is ready to be dished up and enjoyed.

Why cultivated meat?

When we look at the data it’s clear to see that conventional meat as an industry and as a protein has run its course – it’s peaked in terms of efficiency and output and we simply can’t sustain it. Cultivated meat has the potential to lighten the load and by using science we can achieve that same great taste we all love.

Replenish our earth

As an organisation we’re here to impact food systems positively by giving the environment a much needed break. Cultivated meat has the potential to counter the impact of intensive agriculture by using considerably less land and water, making production less costly. We’ve found a way to continue eating what we love without harming the earth. After all, why look for alternatives when you can have the real thing?

Regain our health

Our team has developed a way to make real meat with less fat that doesn’t compromise on taste. One. Little. Bit. Meat with more nutrients and a sustainable production process? Welcome to the future of meat culture.

Reimagine our food systems

How can we make a real difference in our food systems? That was the question that inspired us to start Mzansi Meat Co. Bringing cultivated meat to the African continent means we can positively impact food systems and contribute towards long-term food security. If you aren’t down with the system then why join? That’s why we’ve created a brand new eco-system built on a harm-free philosophy

Why Mzansi?

Real Meat #MadeLekker! 

Here’s what sets us apart from the current meat paradigm.

Biology Driving Progress

How do we retrieve biopsy from animals? We use harm-free methods that reduce stress levels by ensuring animals live out their lives in peace. This means a happier, healthier life in a spacious environment. Yes– feel good meat is a thing and we’ve coined it.

Engineering Innovation

The braai is an important part of South African life so when it comes to meat we want the real thing, without compromise. That’s why we’ve made it our mission to bring you the traditional tastes and textures we love, without the harm. Cultivated meat – that’s how.

A Harm-Free Philosophy

We’re driven by a desire to help change food systems and we’re always guided by science. Since we’re setting the narrative in Africa, it’s important we’re transparent about how we do things. Here’s to setting the standard for responsible cellular agriculture practices and sustainably produced cultivated meat in Africa.

Meet the team

Dr. Angela Botes

Chief Technology Officer

Dr. Angela Botes holds a B.Sc in Molecular and Cellular Biology and a B.Sc (Hons), M.Sc (Cum laude) and PhD in Microbiology all from Stellenbosch University— regarded amongst the world's best higher education institutions. She also completed a postdoc at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, USA. Dr. Botes is a talented mycologist and has experience with the metabolic engineering of yeast and a passion for utilizing her skills for environmental conservation initiatives.

Absie Pantshwa

Public Relations Officer

Absie is a serial entrepreneur and expert customer liaison. She is the Co-Founder of Fresh Corporation who's group of companies provides next level events and catering services to top-tier companies. In addition, Absie has extensive experience in food service, restaurant ownership and guest logistics in Southern Africa. She also owns a bakery-delicatessen as well as a Kauai franchise.

Brett Thompson

Co-Founder & Chief Executive Officer

Brett studied finance and economics at the University of Cape Town and Stellenbosch University in South Africa. After completing his Honours thesis, Making an Economic Case for Vegetarianism, he went on to work at the Fry Family Food Co., one of the world’s leading manufacturers of plant-based food alternatives. Brett has also held senior positions at Beyond Carnism and ProVeg International, accumulating over ten years of experience in animal advocacy.

Dr. Colin Venter

Chief Scientific Officer

Dr. Venter holds a PhD and a BSc (Hons) in Biochemistry and a BSc (Summa Cum Laude) in Biochemistry and Genetics from the University of KwaZulu-Natal. He is passionate and highly skilled in the specialization of mammalian cell culture and working with fibroblasts and during academic research he developed several innovative and novel methods to evaluate intercellular communication and cell behavior. This included a method of co-culture that could facilitate two or more cell types and optimized methods to rapidly quantify cellular proliferation, migration and alignment.

Jay Van Der Walt

Co-Founder & Chief Operating Officer

Jay holds a Master's in Metaphysical Science and is a certified Business Analyst and Product Owner. He has management experience in the technology space at multinational corporations and remotely at a cultivated fish startup and various other impact companies in the US. Jay has consulted for startups and NPO’s in the Alternative Protein and Impact Investment space focusing on project coordination, community building, research, and web design.

Kyle Andrew Naylor

Research Scientist

Kyle is a PhD candidate (thesis submitted) in Molecular and Cell Biology at the University of Cape Town. His research focused on the development of phage display antibodies against emerging fish pathogens, for the improvement of the aquaculture industry.

He has Experience with yeast protein expression as well as mammalian cell culture techniques. Kyle is mission-driven and wants to use science to develop food security solutions.

Lauren Crooks

R&D Consultant

Lauren is a smart and driven Molecular and Cell Biology scientist keen to disrupt the food system using biotechnology. Lauren holds a first class Honours degree with specialisation in Biochemistry and Cell Biology and an M.Sc in Molecular and Cell Biology with a focus on Protein Biochemistry and Cell Biology. She is skilled in Protein Chemistry, Mammalian Cell Biology, Signal Transduction, Data Analysis and Molecular Oncology.

Tasneem Karodia

Chief Financial Officer

Tasneem has a Bachelor of Business Science in Management Studies majoring in Accounting and Finance and is a qualified Chartered Accountant. She has extensive experience in strategy and performance improvements and the ability to analyze large amounts of information, both qualitative and quantitative, drawing out salient points to develop insights and recommend practical solutions.

Tasneem has experience across a variety of industries, with a focus on private equity, mining and telecommunications. She also has a passion for sustainability, particularly as it relates to our food systems and is looking to contribute positively to change in this space.

Hungry for more?

Write to us here and let's chat!

Mzansi Meat Co.

We're on a mission to reinvent how we think about food, for the benefit of our planet, our health and the lives of animals.