Tyson Foods just made its next bold step into the future with a second investment in a clean meat company, Jerusalem-based Future Meat Technologies.
Tyson, a global leader in meat production, didn’t just add money to the pot but co-led Future Meat’s $2.2M funding round. Talk about a statement.
The startup’s unique approach promises to bring costs down so that slaughter-free chicken and beef can be accessible to everyone. Its solution to the cost challenge is twofold:
- Implement a media recycling system so that the (typically costly) cell “feed” can be reused effectively
- Adopt a distributed production model of small-scale cell factories
Future Meat founder Yaakov Nahmais explains, “…distributive models allow us to grow organically and essentially replace chicken coops with these bioreactors. This, I think, is a reasonable way of actually taking over and replacing this industry sustainably.”
[Media? Bioreactors? If this is all Greek to you, check out our primer on clean meat here!]
According to Nahmais, it still costs the young startup about $363 to produce a pound of meat, but he expects to achieve a range approaching $2.30 — $4.50 per pound by 2020 through the efficiencies afforded by scale.
Tyson’s investment will certainly help!
As GFI Senior Scientist Liz Specht said of the economic viability of clean meat in the Fast Company: “I was tasked with figuring out if this clean meat thing is worthy of our time or should we put all of our focus into plant-based meat. I actually came in into that exercise quite skeptical because I’ve done animal cell culture for biomedical R&D, and I knew what the high costs were associated with that. Through doing this analysis I actually did end up quite optimistic.”
Apparently, the biggest players in the meat industry are too.
Congrats to Future Meat Technologies! We can’t wait to tour your chicken(-free) barn soon!