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Big Meat is Hedging Their Bets With World's Largest Lab Grown Beef Facility

September 28, 2023
x min read

The largest meat processing company in the world is coming for lab grown meat, and has officially broken ground on building the world's largest lab grown beef facility.

What’s happening:

  • Brazil based food giant JBS is putting $62M into constructing a state of the art centre for producing cell cultivated meat and cultured proteins
  • The new facility, known as The Biotech Innovation Centre, will be based in Brazil and aims to be on the leading edge of innovation and biotechnology around cell cultivated meat
  • One of the large focuses of The Biotech Innovation Centre is to successfully validate industrial scale capabilities for cultivated meat

Why it matters:

  • Having one of the largest food companies in the world pursuing cultivated meat is another sign of validation for cellular agriculture as a whole
  • Scaling challenges and cost parity with traditional meat are two of the biggest critiques of the future of lab grown meat and this new facility could potentially make meaningful progress in both of those areas
  • With the United States and Singapore granting regulatory approval for cultivated meat there is a growing excitement that global adoption is now happening

Going deeper:

  • JBS previously made their first push into cellular agriculture when they acquired a majority stake in Spanish cultivated meat startup BioTech Foods
  • Cargill and Tyson Foods are two other legacy food companies who have made investments in cultivated meat startups
  • Large scale facilities for cultivated meat are potentially becoming a new trend, with UPSIDE Foods recently announcing their plans for a $140M facility based in the United States

By the numbers:

  • JBS took in roughly $72 billion in revenue last year so their investment in cultivated meat is still relatively small in comparison to their operations globally
  • In their $100M deal to acquire majority ownership of BioTech Foods approximately $41M of JBS’s investment went towards starting construction of a commercial scale plant in Spain which will produce BioTech Food’s cultivated meat products

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