WILSON, NC. — Cultivated meat producer Believer Meats has broken ground on its first US commercial facility in Wilson, NC, where it intends to invest more than $123 million.
According to the company, the future 200,000-square-foot facility will be the world’s largest cultivated meat production center, with the capacity to produce at least 10,000 tonnes of cultivated meat.
Believer Meats said the facility will be completed by the first quarter of 2024.
“Our facility propels Believer forward as a leader in the cultivated meat industry,” said Nicole Johnson-Hoffman, chief executive officer of Believer Meats. “Our brand has continually proven our commitment to scale production technology and capacity, and with our new US production center, we are one step closer to commercialization. Believer is setting the standard globally to make it possible for future generations to eat and enjoy meat.”
The company said it looked at several well-established manufacturing areas in Eastern North Carolina because of the highly qualified talent pool and the region’s success in integrating technology-driven solutions.
The facility is expected to utilize custom-made, proprietary bioreactors to achieve high cell densities and yield based on patented processes. Additionally, the facility will feature an R&D and innovation center with a contemporary kitchen to host tastings.
A grant of $500,000 was awarded to Believer from the One North Carolina Fund. The grant states that companies do not receive money upfront and must meet job creation and capital investment targets to qualify for payment. All of the grants must be matched by local governments.
“These steps pave the way for cultivated meat to come to market in the US at scale and helps ensure as many consumers as possible have access to these groundbreaking products,” said Liz Specht, vice president of science and technology at the Good Food Institute. “Further government investment like this will advance the sector toward commercialization, helping to feed a growing population more sustainably, spurring economic growth, and improving environmental and global health outcomes.”
Believer Meatsrecently rebranded and changed its namefrom Future Meat Technologies.