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Eat Just, the food tech that pioneered the plant-based egg and won the race to nab the world’s first regulatory approval for cultured meat, says that Singapore will “at minimum” serve as its Asian headquarters. The San Francisco startup’s co-founder and CEO Josh Tetrick also hinted at Singapore playing an even bigger role in the future, revealing that the company is “considering” housing its global manufacturing hub for its new cell-based meat line dubbed Good Meat in the city-state.
Speaking at a virtual media interview to mark the world’s first-ever cultured chicken commercially sold at restaurant 1880 in Singapore after being given the go-ahead by regulators, Tetrick made clear that Singapore will be an important base for Eat Just in Asia, and potentially its global operations too.
“Singapore for us will be at a minimum the base for Asia. And we’re considering Singapore as the hub for global manufacturing of what we call our brand’s Good Meat, [with] a facility or two in Western Europe and a facility or two in North America,” said the startup’s co-founder and CEO.
A part of the plan to double down its presence and investments in Singapore, where the startup had previously already made a partnership with investment management firm Proterra to build its first Asia-based production facility and the largest of its kind in the city-state, will involve growing its team and tapping into local talent to hire engineers, food scientists and R&D specialists in 2021.
Singapore for us will be at a minimum the base for Asia. And we’re considering Singapore as the hub for global manufacturing of what we call our brand’s Good Meat, [with] a facility or two in Western Europe and a facility or two in North America.Josh Tetrick, Co-Founder & CEO, Eat Just
“I don’t know off the top of my head exactly the number of jobs,” said Tetrick. “But just imagine a large manufacturing environment, running optimally for us 24/7 days a week with a company support lab…We think it’s an important way to generate jobs.”
This expansion will further fuel Eat Just’s ambitious plans to develop an entire line of cell-based meats in the future, which will be sold under Good Meat, which the startup has previously described as a small-scale commercial venture offering consumers “real, high-quality meat created directly from animal cells”.
Having already rolled-out its first cultured chicken bites product in 1880 in Singapore, the firm envisions more foodservice launches in the city this year, before entering retail channels in mid-to-late 2022. New products in the pipeline are lab-grown pork and beef, with cultured minced beef likely on the cards to be developed by the end of this year, revealed Tetrick.
I am hopeful that the U.S. and Western Europe will follow the lead of Singapore in providing a regulatory environment.Josh Tetrick, Co-Founder & CEO, Eat Just
In terms of development stages, Eat Just says that it is focused on creating a more “highly texturised” chicken bearing the muscle and fat of real meat within the next two to three years, before taking it to another level and culturing the bones, wings and cartilage of animal meat too.
While Singapore is the first in the world to give the regulatory go-ahead for cultured meats, the cultivated meat industry now hopeful that more countries will follow suit, particularly as governments look for more sustainable and resilient ways to produce protein and ensure the security of its food supply in the wake of the coronavirus crisis.
Japanese authorities have already started discussions on the rule-making process for cultivated foods, while the U.S. authorities have suggested that such talks will be underway soon, without providing a specific timeline.
“I am hopeful that the U.S. and Western Europe will follow the lead of Singapore in providing a regulatory environment,” commented Tetrick.
Lead image courtesy of Eat Just / Good Meat.