Strategic food biotech R&D alliance facilitates large-scale industrialization to bring
precision-fermentation cheese to the mass market

Formo (Germany) and Those Vegan Cowboys (Belgium), the two leading European ventures in
precision fermentation, are entering into an industry-defining partnership to bring animal-free
caseins to the mass market. This first-of-its-kind collaboration, unique both in size and impact,
includes efforts across strain engineering, bioprocessing and large scale production of caseins.

Scaling, cost efficiency and accelerated market entry
The coalition unites 60+ world-leading scientists from both companies to create the world’s
most powerful and experienced research team, allowing Formo and Those Vegan Cowboys
to challenge conventional norms in the food biotech sector. The collaboration delivers
technological efficiency gains while bundling joint manufacturing volumes in the future. As a
result, the companies can achieve cost parity with animal-based casein, both on an
ingredient and product basis, faster than any other player in the field.

Raffael Wohlgensinger (CEO Formo) states “Our technology is the key to conquer a trillion
dollar market in the next ten years. In order to gain a leading market share together with our
partners, production of animal-free casein needs to be able to compete with animals on a cost
level. The initiated collaboration allows us to improve the technological efficiency and scale of
production to achieve this very goal.”

EU regulatory approval leadership & European competitiveness
Formo and Those Vegan Cowboys are strategically pooling resources, leveraging established
dialogues with EFSA, and utilizing their roles as founders of Food Fermentation Europe (FFE) to
expedite the regulatory approval process. In the past, EFSA has expressed strong support
for joint dossiers, anticipating increased efficiency. At the same time, part of the challenge to
bring precision fermentation products to European plates remains legislative.

Hille van der Kaa (CEO Those Vegan Cowboys): “We have this amazing technology with the
potential to solve multiple acute problems in our food system at once. But with current
legislation timelines, we see companies submit their applications in the USA & Asia – we need
more speed and efficiency when it comes to European dossiers. That is why as European
precision fermentation companies, we formed the Food Fermentation Europe alliance, so we
can address EU legislation with one voice. In the new collaboration, we can double down on our

A paradigm shift for food biotechnology
Motivated by a shared vision, the companies recognized the urgent need for transformative
change in the dairy landscape with environmental challenges mounting and global food supply
chains showing vulnerability. By combining experience, resources and know-how, Formo and
Those Vegan Cowboys unite to accelerate the speed of science-based entrepreneurship
beyond its traditional limits.

Hille van der Kaa and Raffael Wohlgensinger share their clear view on the significance of the
partnership: “Through our approach we show how collaboration among ventures can unlock
unprecedented levels of speed, efficiency and impact. It represents a transformative leap to
advance the precision fermentation space as a whole and thus spearheading the charge
towards a more sustainable future.”

The collaboration has already been kicked-off successfully. Hille van der Kaa explains:
“Experiencing the electrifying levels of energy during our kick-off days, the message for us is
clear: This can serve as a new blueprint to develop and commercialize ground breaking
technology. The place was ablaze with excitement, the value of the coalition was tangible.
Everyone is eager to move forward together.”

As part of embarking on this exciting journey together, Formo and Those Vegan Cowboys
maintain their distinct identities as separate companies to market their own line of cow-free

About Formo
Formo is a trailblazing food biotech company that harnesses the power of 2 technologies, micro
fermentation and precision fermentation, to bring the world the next generation of sustainable
and indulgent animal-free products. Since 2019, we have been combining synthetic biology,
advanced food science and state of the art product design to develop the holy grail of the
animal-free food universe: cheese. After 4 years of R&D, we have done the unimaginable –
manufacturing micro fermentation-enabled cheese without the cow that is indistinguishable from
the conventional benchmark product which will enter the market in 2024. Besides immediate
commercialization of micro fermentation products, we are pioneering precision fermentation to
produce bioidentical casein proteins at scale. Leveraging two cutting-edge food technologies,
we are changing industrialized dairy and egg production for good. For more information:

About Those Vegan Cowboys
After setting new standards in the meat replacement market with their company The Vegetarian
Butcher, Dutch founding cowboys Jaap Korteweg and Niko Koffeman continued their
adventures as Those Vegan Cowboys. In their milk lab in Ghent, 30+ scientists work on real
cheese without the cow by means of precision fermentation: the next step in dairy that gets us
the same products we know & love with less than 5 times the environmental impact. Margaret,
as Those Vegan Cowboys’ stainless steel cow is called, celebrated her first success in 2023 as
she made her first cheese with microbial caseins: milk proteins that make cheese cheesy,
formerly only made by mammals. With the first cheeses ripening, Those Vegan Cowboys CEO
Hille van der Kaa & COO Will van den Tweel are currently raising €15 million to build a milk
stable for their growing herd of stainless steel cows, big enough to produce plenty of Margaret’s
cheese for everyone. For more information:

About Precision Fermentation
Precision fermentation combines the process of traditional fermentation with the latest advances
in biotechnology to efficiently produce a compound of interest, such as a protein, flavour
molecule, vitamin, pigment, or fat. For Formo and Those Vegan Cowboys, Precision
fermentation is all about the art of making dairy-identical proteins like casein with the help of
microbes instead of mammals.
How does precision fermentation work?
● A specific molecular sequence is inserted into a microorganism to give it instructions to
produce the desired molecule when fermented. These molecular sequences are derived
from digitized databases rather than taken directly from the relevant animals or plants.
● At the end of the fermentation process, the resulting compounds are filtered out,
separating them from the microorganisms that produced them.
● Precision fermentation has been in use globally for over 30 years to make medicines
(like insulin) and countless common food ingredients (such as human milk
oligosaccharides or rennet).