Billionaire entrepreneur and island resident Jim Mellon believes the Isle of Man could lead the way in an ’amazing new industry’ which has implications for the future of agriculture and the food industry.
The investor and author told Business News: ’I think it would be great for the economy in the Isle of Man.
’The island has three legs in its logo. But in my view it actually has got about 10 legs and this could be the 11th leg to help its economy and make it even more successful.’
Mr Mellon also believes that it would create new jobs for skilled people ’on good wages and their purchasing power would ripple over into the broad economy’.
The man who employs an estimated 400 people in the island through business interests, is so enthusiastic about the possibilities for new food technologies that he has written a 283-page book called Moo’s Law.
In it, he claims there are huge benefits for the environment, economy, human health and animal welfare.
And he believes these new food technologies cannot be ignored.
The book argues that we will see widespread adoption of cell-cultured meat starting within 10 years.
He sees the book as a great introduction to investors or anyone interested in learning about alternative approaches to current intensive farming methods.
He also talks about farmers having bioreactors in which cells from a cow are fed a cocktail of nutrients growing into edible tissue that is a rich protein source.
Mr Mellon is a co-founder and director of Agronomics, an island registered investment company listed on the London Stock Exchange.
And he is passionate about the fight against animal cruelty, he’s a dog-lover and a pescatarian which means he does not eat meat but does eat fish.
Speaking to Business News on Zoom, he said: ’I do believe this a real opportunity for the Isle of Man.
’I love the Isle of Man and my view is that the island’s government should think about it, embrace this and be the first in the British Isles to set up production facilities for this stuff.
’I think it would be absolutely fantastic.
’The Isle of Man has always been at the forefront and I don’t see why not on this subject.
’Just think what the opportunities would be for the Isle of Man to promote itself and be one of the European leaders in this field.
’I’m very happy to help the government or whoever wants to start on this journey.’
Mr Mellon added: ’In fact when I am able to return to the island I will go and talk to the (Chief Minister) Howard Quayle and other people about it because I also think that the farmers could do it themselves.
’They could have bioreactors on their own property and could end up making a better living than they are at the moment because farming is a difficult industry as we all know.
’It does not mean you have to get rid of all the cows and sheep, it just means having to reduce the percentage of food that is produced in an intensive way.
’And the Isle of Man could be an absolutely world-class leader in this.
’I know we are on the cusp of a huge revolution here and I’m just super excited about it.’
Mr Mellon, 63, said he wrote most of the book, which is his sixth, when he was in the island during last year’s lockdown.
He began writing it in his home in Collinson House, Port Erin during the lockdown.
But when restrictions were lifted, he travelled to the Claremont Hotel in Douglas every day and ’sat in a little room and did my work there’.
’And then every Saturday I walked all the way from Port Erin to Douglas. I did it every weekend and then my partner Dafina would come and pick me up in the car.’
The couple have four dogs and can’t wait to return to the island when they are allowed.
Mr Mellon said: ’I’m very proud to have been associated with the Isle of Man and actually for so long because it is a great place and in fact we can’t wait to come back.’
One of the many companies he puts the spotlight on in his book is Beyond Meat which is responsible for Beyond Burgers which are plant-based.
In the book, he recalls: ’Even in the Isle of Man, small as it is, we enjoyed Beyond Burgers while in lockdown.’
He said they are available from Tesco.
He said: ’This is the future. And the Isle of Man has always been very good at embracing the future.’
Mr Mellon believes there is a lot of food for thought in the new food and farming technologies.
Moo’s Law is available from www.harriman-house.com in paperback or as an ebook from £10.99.