- Brazil’s JBS — the world’s largest meat processor — plans to acquire a majority stake in Spanish cultivated meat company BioTech Foods as part of a $100 million investment into the nascent sector, Reuters reports.
- Of that total, $41 million will go towards construction of a manufacturing plant in Spain which could produce up to 1,000 tons of cultivated meat per year, according to Brazilian financial newspaper Valor.
- Some of the capital will also be deployed to build an R&D center in Brazil focused on cell-cultured meat.
Why it matters:
The market entry of the world’s biggest meat processing and packing firm is a massive milestone for the cultivated meat industry, which has recently come under increased skepticism about its economic viability.
“When we enter a business, it is to have a leadership position,” JBS global CEO Gilberto Tomazoni told Valor.
Several other ‘Big Meat’ companies have invested in plant-based protein startups, but have been slower in backing cultivated meat makers. Among those to have taken minority stakes in cell-cultured meat startups are BRF, Cargill, CJ CheilJedang, and Thai Union, which participated in in the $105 million Series B funding round that Israel’s Aleph Farms raised in July.
San Sebastian-based Biotech Foods develops products under the Ethicameat brand.