Ivy Farm Targets 2025 Cultivated Meat Launch After Deal to Produce at World’s ‘Largest’ Alt-Protein Facility

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UK food tech startup Ivy Farm has inked a manufacturing partnership to scale up at a new alternative protein facility in Finland. After hosting a tasting of its cultivated beef yesterday, it’s aiming to launch its first sales next year.

British cultivated meat producer Ivy Farm Technologies has announced a major manufacturing partnership with Finnish biotech firm Synbio Powerlabs Oy, which will see the former demonstrate the scalability of its mammalian cells in food-grade fermenters at the latter’s new production plant.

Synbio Powerlabs is converting a large Finnish food-grade facility into a multipurpose hub for cultivated meat and fermentation-derived proteins, backed by a €2.99M government grant. Slated to go live early next year, it will feature pilot-scale equipment and production scales at 10,000 and 27,000 litres, with six 250,000-litre manufacturing vessels. This will make it the largest such facility in the world, according to the announcement.

Ivy Farm will have exclusivity in the cultivated meat section of the hub, and will be able to gain a strategic advantage, reduce capital expenditure costs, and mitigate risks linked to scaling up. The next phase of the partnership will focus on tech transfer and expanding production to 10,000-litre fermenters, with further plans to increase manufacturing in the next few years.

It would be a major step up in the Oxford-based producer’s plans to commercialise its cultivated beef – its current pilot plant can produce up to three tonnes of product annually, but this facility is used for process development rather than continuous production. “The partnership with Synbio is designed to progress the production steps to larger scales and test what is possible all done in a low capex way,” Ivy Farm CEO Richard Dillon told Green Queen.

A ‘unique’ facility powered by renewable energy

ivy farm synbio
Courtesy: Synbio Powerlabs

The new plant, located near Helsinki, is dedicated to helping alternative protein companies accelerate their routes to market. The Nordics are home to some of the most innovative players in this space. While these countries are high importers of meat, the abundance of renewable energy and tech expertise makes them primed to capitalise on the novel foods sector.

“With the support of Clingate Oy and the Finnish government, we are proud to lead the charge in transforming our vision into reality, positioning ourselves as a global leader in food innovation,” said Synbio Powerlabs chairman Alejandro Antalich. “Together with Ivy Farm Technologies, we are committed to pushing the boundaries of what is possible and shaping the future of food.”

Speaking about the partnership with Ivy Farm, he added: “By converging our cutting-edge technology and innovative thinking, we are not only revolutionising the way meat is produced but also paving the way for a more efficient, scalable, and environmentally friendly approach to mass-scale food production.”

Dillon said the company was “committed to partnering with fermentation experts and licensing our technology” to speed up the commercialisation of cultivated meat globally.

Asked why the startup chose Finland as a hub, he said: “There is no facility similar to this in the UK, so we were forced to look outside of the UK.” He called Synbio Powerlabs “real experts in fermentation”, explaining that Finland “has a strong track record in supporting technology and sustainability”.

“Finland is second in Europe when it comes to renewable energy share [behind neighbouring Sweden]. The Synbio Powerlab facility is using power from a very efficient and sustainable Finnish energy system that is almost 70% renewable,” he said. “The facility and the tanks are multipurpose for different fermentation processes,” he added, outlining that the startup “has the possibilities to use all fermentation equipment in the future”.

“Producing cultivated beef in this facility at the metrics expected would produce delicious and nutritious meat with potential savings of 92% GHG emissions, 90% less land and 66% less freshwater versus current industrial farming,” he added. The total production time from the cell thawing to harvesting tonnes of meat is two to three weeks, versus two to three years to produce the same tonnage of meat via current bovine pregnancy and farming methods.”

Fellow British startup Eternal, which makes fungi-based Mycofood is one of the other companies that will be making use of the new facility, with other businesses to be announced in the future.

Ivy Farm files for regulatory approval, targets 2025 launch

ivy farm meat
Courtesy: Ivy Farm Technologies

The partnership was unveiled at Iceland Innovation Week yesterday, where Ivy Farm hosted the country’s second-ever cultivated meat tasting with local startup ORF Genetics, which produced recombinant growth factors for these proteins. In February, the latter co-hosted a public tasting with Australia’s Vow, whose cultivated quail is now approved and on sale in Singapore.

Ivy Farm’s public tasting itself follows an event hosted by Fortnum and Mason in London, which previewed a scotch egg that featured the former’s cultivated Angus beef in the form of meatballs. The Iceland tasting was attended by government officials and food and tech leaders, with the beef cooked by Ólafur Örn Ólafsson, owner and head chef of fine-dining eatery Brút.

“I couldn’t believe how enjoyable it was to work with cultivated beef, which is essentially just meat grown using new technology. In fact, it would be very difficult or even impossible for most foodies to distinguish between the cultivated beef and traditionally grown,” the restauranteur said.

“Our primary focus is on premium cultivated beef, specifically Wagyu and Aberdeen Angus mince meat,” said Dillon. Ivy Farm is focusing on a B2B approach, which may mean its cultivated beef ends up in a hybrid product with plant-based ingredients, or even mixed with conventional meat.

“We supply to food companies who already are experts in making and branding final meat products, such as burgers, meatballs and other delicious products from minced meat,” he explained. “Some may choose to combine with their existing meat products and some may combine with plant-based products. The food companies have the best consumer and customer insights, so will make good final product choices for their markets.”

Dillon confirmed that Ivy Farm has filed dossiers for regulatory approval, though he remained tight-lipped about the timeline or country. “Ivy Farm has high hopes to achieve regulatory approvals in a number of regions in the not-too-distant future,” he said.

In March, the company collaborated with BSF Enterprise (parent of cellular agriculture business 3D Bio-Tissues) to fundraise, launch and scale its cultivated meat in Asia. “We have engaged BSF, a technology specialist company, [which] is familiar and networked in Hong Kong, China and the broader Asia region to help us assess a number of enquiries from Asian companies to potentially license our technology and/or invest in the scale-up development work we have planned,” said Dillon.

So when can we expect to see a product containing Ivy Farm’s cultivated beef? “2025 is going to be an exciting time for us as we look to scale and get first sales,” said Dillon.


  • Anay Mridul

    Anay is Green Queen's resident news reporter. Originally from India, he worked as a vegan food writer and editor in London, and is now travelling and reporting from across Asia. He's passionate about coffee, plant-based milk, cooking, eating, veganism, food tech, writing about all that, profiling people, and the Oxford comma.

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