Israeli startup Future Meat Technologies Ltd. has opened “the world’s first industrial meat production facility” in Rehovot. The company plans to replace chicken coops and slaughterhouses with bioreactors to produce cell-based meat, Bloomberg writes.
The company can produce 500 kilograms of meat a day and offers raised chicken, pork, and lamb, and will begin producing beef in the near future. By the end of next year, the company intends to become a supplier to U.S. restaurants. Negotiations with regulatory agencies are already underway.
The startup’s CEO, Rom Kashuk said the opening of the facility is a huge step toward future meat technology that will bring the products to the shelves by 2022. He said he hopes it will help reduce the meat industry’s impact on the world, make the environment healthier, and provide viable alternatives to meat from slaughtered animals.
More than 75 companies around the world are cultivating meat by growing protein cells instead of slaughtering animals. Last year, they attracted record funding. And since the first prototypes, the startups have cut costs by 99 percent, and if consumers turn to their products, the market could reach $25 billion by 2030, according to a McKinsey & Co. report. But companies need to cut costs, even more, to compete with traditional meat.
An Israeli startup has raised $43 million from investors. The company claims they have the lowest price for cultured chicken breast. Kashuk said he was able to reduce the price to four dollars per 100 grams, a small fraction of the original price. He plans to cut that price in half by the end of 2022.
Kashuk added that a working industrial line speeds up key processes, such as regulation and product development. Future Meat creates 80 percent less greenhouse gas emissions, uses 99 percent less land, and uses 96 percent less water than traditional meat farming and production. Their experience could help open similar facilities in other countries, especially in the U.S. and U.K., where plant-based meat alternatives are growing in popularity. The startup is targeting one of the largest meat-consuming markets, the U.S., then considering expansion to Europe and China.
In May it became known that people in the U.S. began to give up beef in droves for fear of damaging the climate. The environmental damage caused by its consumption was compared to the damage caused by the use of coal. According to ecologists, raising cows has a devastating effect on the climate. This is because cattle emit a huge amount of greenhouse gas during their lifetime.