Slated to launch in Q4 2024, Cell AgriTech says its first cultivated meat production facility will also be Malaysia’s first.
Cell AgriTech says it plans to be in full production by spring of 2025, pending regulatory approval for cultivated meat. The company made the factory announcement during the first Malaysia Cultivated Meat Conference held at the Kuala Lumpur Convention Center earlier this month.
Malaysia’s first cultivated meat facility
“We are proud to be the first cultivated meat company in the country, bringing a sustainable and delicious alternative to traditional meat products,” said Jason Ng, the founder and manufacturing vice president of the Cell AgriTech group of companies.
Cell Agritech’s focus will be on seafood, with tuna and eel up first. The goal is to achieve price parity with conventional seafood, the company says. The new facility will span three to four acres in size, with a 1,000-liter production volume.
According to Deputy Science, Technology and Innovation Minister Datuk Arthur Joseph Kurup, who was also present at the conference, the global cultivated meat market is expected to grow from US$176.48 million (RM791.87 million) in 2022, to US$321.71 million (RM1.44 billion) in 2027.
“The development of cultivated meat technology in Malaysia promises to create job opportunities and revenue while addressing national challenges such as food security, health management, and climate change,” Kurup said.
Cultivated meat is currently only approved for sale in Singapore, but two U.S. companies, Eat Just’s Good Meat and Upside Foods, have received FDA clearance with “no questions” on their tech.
Alternative protein across Southeast Asia
In a post shared on LinkedIn, the Good Food Insitute APAC said the historical development also opens up opportunities for new collaborations across Southeast Asia. That kicked off with Ng announcing that Cell AgriTech will partner with Singapore’s Umami Meats to scale up the production of cultivated seafood.
Last year, Umami Meats announced it had produced cultivated fish cakes and filets, following the launch of cultivated fish ball laksa last August. It filed a patent for a novel single-stem cell technology that it says can build both muscle and fat in cultivated seafood.
Mohd Khairul Fidzal Abdul Razak, CEO of the Bioeconomy Corporation — the lead development agency for the bio-based industry in Malaysia — said that as the global population surpassed 8 billion last November 2022, the cultivated meat industry is “poised to grow substantially.”
“We believe that the future of meat is cultivated,” Ng said. “We are committed to bringing this innovative and sustainable solution to the meat industry as our focus in the field of cellular agriculture.”