USA – Believer Meats, an Israel-based food technology company that specializes in cultured meat, is expanding its operations in the United States with plans to build a new commercial-scale production facility in Wilson County, North Carolina.
The plans come hot on the heels of a recent decision by the US Food and Drug Administration to greenlight the commercial production of cultivated meat by Upside Foods.
Believer Meats facility will be 200,000 square feet and will have the capacity of producing at least 10,000 metric tons of cultivated meat once fully operational.
This new meat plant will feature proprietary bioreactors that can achieve high cell densities and yield based on patented processes.
The new facility, anticipated to be one of the largest of its kind, will also house a research and development centre as well as an innovation centre.
An initial investment of US$123 million has been made and the project is anticipated to create more than 100 jobs during the next three years.
“Our facility propels Believer forward as a leader in the cultivated meat industry. Our brand has continually proven our commitment to scale production technology and capacity, and with our new US production centre, we are one step closer to commercialisation.” Said the CEO Nicole Johnson-Hoffman.
Founded in 2018, Believer Meats is one of the best-capitalized companies in the cultivated meat space, having raised nearly $388 million in its lifetime, according to the firm.
It has also attracted a lot of attention from Big Food, with ingredients and commodity giant Archer Daniels Midland and Tyson Foods investing.
Nestlé also announced in 2021 that it was working with Believer Meats as it evaluates cultivated meat technologies and potential future products made from a hybrid of plant-based ingredients and cell-based meat.
The company does not yet have regulatory approval to produce and sell cultivated meat anywhere, but with the US granting its first approval, Believer Meats may be getting closer to getting that green light.
Co-founder Yaakov Nahmias is even on record saying the company has been in close contact with the FDA about gaining approval for years.
And with construction underway on a place to make that meat in the U.S., it could actually not be that far off from consumers’ plates nationwide.