January 10, 2023

Believer Meats has broken ground on its new North Carolina plant that it says will be the largest cultivated meat production centre in the world.

When operational the 200,000-square-foot operation will be able to produce a minimum of 10,000 metric tonnes of cultivated meat. Breaking ground of this facility has been described by food technology company Believer Meats as a “watershed moment for the cultivated meat industry.”

“Our facility propels Believer forward as a leader in the cultivated meat industry,” said Nicole Johnson-Hoffman, CEO of Believer Meats. 

“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. Believer is setting the standard globally to make it possible for future generations to eat and enjoy meat.” 

“We’re pleased to welcome Believer Meats to North Carolina,” said North Carolina Governor Roy Cooper. “This important decision to build its first U.S. commercialisation operation in Wilson County validates our innovative research and development and highly skilled talent while further cementing our state as the best in the nation to do business.”

Cultivated meat company Future Meat Technologies decided to rebrand as Believer back in November 2022. (Photo: Believer)
Cultivated meat company Future Meat Technologies decided to rebrand as Believer back in November 2022. (Photo: Believer)

What the cultivated meat facility means for Believer, the industry and the local area

Believer Meats has said it is making an initial investment of around €116.26 million ($123.35 million) in Wilson County, North Carolina, the location of its new cultivated meat production facility. The company hopes to create over 100 new jobs over the next three years. 

The facility itself will use proprietary bioreactors that can reach high cell densities, yielding cultivated meats that are based on a patented process. As well as this, the facility will contain a research and development and innovation centre, along with a modernised kitchen to host tastings and offices, conference spaces. 

“We celebrate this milestone and are thrilled to see the North Carolina and Wilson County officials and community providing critically important support to scale cultivated meat production. These steps pave the way for cultivated meat to come to market in the U.S. at scale and helps ensure as many consumers as possible have access to these groundbreaking products,” said Liz Specht, Ph.D., Vice President of Science and Technology at the Good Food Institute (GFI). 

“Further government investment like this will advance the sector toward commercialisation, helping to feed a growing population more sustainably, spurring economic growth, and improving environmental and global health outcomes.” 

Believer Meats continues rapid development and operations 

News of Believer Meats breaking ground on their new facility is just one of the many recent developments for the company.  

In November 2022, the company decided to rebrand as Believer Meats, doing away with their old name Future Meat Technologies. Believer said the decision was made to emphasise the company’s “wholehearted belief that there is a better way to produce meat that is delicious, nourishing and cost-effective,” as put by Michael Lenahan, executive Vice President of Global Commercialisation at the food technology company.

Before that, in August 2022, Believer (then Future Meat Technologies) announced that it would be expanding its product line to include cultivated lamb, which the company claimed was an innovation that could transform the global landscape. The European Union was cited as being the biggest consumer of lamb in the world, and with lamb being a primary meat source for many countries in Asia, Northern Africa and the Middle East, it is clear to see why there is much excitement and potential demand for cultivated lamb innovations around the world. 

The company created a global leadership team back in May 2022, with appointments of key personnel to help drive the food technology outfit forward. Gustavo Burger was named chief operating officer, while Jennifer Henderson was named chief administrative officer, general counsel, and Corporate Secretary and Moses Talbi was selected as chief financial and business development officer. 

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