Eat Just Inc, a US-based startup making lab-grown meat and plant-based alternatives to conventionally-produced egg products, has announced that it is planning to build a commercial facility in Qatar to produce cell-based meat as it looks to expand globally.
According to Eat Just’s CEO Mr. Josh Tetrick, the company is teaming up with state-backed Doha Venture Capital and the Qatar Free Zones Authority (QFZA) to build the large-scale plant, which might take two years to complete.
The exact amount of the project is not disclosed but Mr. Tetrick stated that it might cost more than $200 million, with a significant portion of that coming from the venture firm’s investment.
The new plant will be far larger than the one the company has in Singapore, which recently became the first country to allow the sale of cell-based chicken.
According to a recent report from McKinsey & Co., a global management consulting firm, cultured meat, which is generated from cells rather than butchering living animals, might become a $25 billion market by 2030.
According to Mr. Tetrick, the company aims to build facilities that are making a lot of meat. Plans are in place to gradually expand capacity to also produce the company’s Just Egg product, made from mung beans.
The company chose Qatar in part because of the country’s openness to cultured meat and its desire to explore new, long-term food security solutions. It also strengthens Eat Just’s presence in the Middle East and North Africa, thereby paving the way for future exports to places like Western Europe.
QFZA, which oversees and advocates for the country’s economic free zones, and the Ministry of Public Health intends to permit regulatory approval shortly to the company’s Good Meat subsidiary’s cell-based chicken. It would be the second country to do so.
Additionally, Eat Just has already been granted an export license, supporting the company’s future growth plans. “Right from the beginning, we are looking at what the export plan is,” said Mr. Lim Meng Hui, CEO of QFZA.
Related: UAE & India explore trade possibilities in agro, food processing sectors