Qatar's Umm Alhoul Free Zone.

Brief: Qatar plans $200m+ cell-cultured meat hub in partnership with Eat Just

August 31, 2021

  • US alt-protein company Eat Just is partnering with Qatar state-run agencies Doha Venture Capital (DVC) and Qatar Free Zones Authority (QFZA) to build what it says is the MENA [Middle East and Northern Africa] region’s first-ever facility for cultivated meat. 
  • The project could cost upwards of $200 million, with a “relevant chunk” of the required capital coming from an investment by DVC, Eat Just CEO Josh Tetrick told Arabian Business.
  • The QFZA and the Ministry of Public Health have “indicated their intention” to give regulatory approval for Eat Just’s GOOD Meat cultivated chicken and have formally granted an export license for the product.

Why it matters:

If granted in good time, the regulatory approval could make Qatar just the second territory in the world where a company would be able to sell cultivated meat to the public.

Eat Just began selling its GOOD Meat cultivated chicken product in Singapore in December 2020 after obtaining world-first regulatory clearance.

While such approvals could take several years in some markets, producing cultivated meat at scale remains the major challenge for Eat Just and the category at large.

Other companies developing cell-cultured meat have opened large production facilities in recent months, including Israel’s Future Meat and cultivated seafood maker Shiok Meats in Singapore. However, Eat Just is the only company in the world so far that has actually gotten regulatory approval to sell cultured meat to consumers.

The Qatar Investment Authority, a Qatari sovereign fund, led a $200 million investment in Eat Just in March this year.

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