Global food giant Tyson – one of the world’s biggest meat processing companies – has invested $2.2 million in an Israeli clean meat startup.
Jerusalem-based Future Meat Technologies creates meat from animal cells. While this type of ‘clean meat’ is not vegan, it is supported by a number of vegans because of its potential to lessen the number of animals slaughtered for food. It is reportedly more environmentally-friendly than traditional livestock rearing.
The Israeli company is currently working on making the product affordable. According to the brand, it costs $800 per kilogram today, ‘with a clear roadmap to $5-10 per kg by 2020’.
The investment marks another foray into alternative proteins for Tyson, which has previously injected cash into plant-based startup company Beyond Meat, as well as clean meat
Justin Whitmore, Executive Vice President, Corporate Strategy and Chief Sustainability Officer of Tyson Foods, said: “This is our first investment in an Israel-based company and we’re excited about this opportunity to broaden our exposure to innovative, new ways of producing protein.
“We continue to invest significantly in our traditional meat business but also believe in exploring additional opportunities for growth that give consumers more choices.”
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‘Feed the world’
Rom Kshuk, CEO of Future Meat Technologies, said: “Global demand for protein and meat is growing at a rapid pace, with an estimated worldwide market of more than a trillion dollars, including explosive growth in China.
“We believe that making a healthy, non-GMO product that can meet this demand is an essential part of our mission. We want to feed the world while protecting the environment.”
Prof. Yaakov Nahmias, the company’s Founder and Chief Scientist, added: “I want my children to eat meat that is delicious, sustainable and safe. This is our commitment to future generations.”
Future Meat Technologies expects to use the funds to ‘establish its engineering activities and increase its biological research’. It is currently recruiting engineers, chefs and scientists.