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JBS Starts Building a Lab-grown Beef Factory in Spain

A Brazilian meatpacker announced on Tuesday that its subsidiary BioTech Foods has begun construction in Spain on its first lab-grown meat plant, which is expected to be completed by mid-2024.

According to JBS, the plant will produce more than 1,000 metric tons of cultivated beef per year, with the potential of expanding capacity to 4,000 metric tons per year in the future.

“The new BioTech plant puts JBS in a unique position to lead the segment and ride this wave of innovation,” said JBS USA’s head of value-added business, Eduardo Noronha.

In 2021, JBS acquired a 51% stake in BioTech in a $100 million deal, with $41 million devoted to building a plant in San Sebastian.

“With the challenges imposed on global supply chains, cultivated protein offers the potential to stabilize food security and global protein production,” BioTech Foods co-founder and CEO Iñigo Charola said in a statement.

Aside from Australia, Brazil, the European Union, Japan, Singapore and the United States, JBS said BioTech plans to gradually increase its production capacity to meet growing consumer demand. Cells collected from livestock are cultured into a tissue similar to that produced in the body of the animal for BioTech's cultured meat.

In 2021, Brazilian chicken and pork processor BRF SA invested $2.5 million in Israeli start-up Aleph Farms.


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