SAO PAULO, June 6 (Reuters) - Brazilian meatpacker JBS said on Tuesday that its subsidiary, BioTech Foods, started construction works for its first commercial-scale plant to produce lab-grown meat in Spain, which is set to be completed by mid-2024.
The factory, which JBS claims it will be the world’s largest lab-grown meat plant, should produce more than 1,000 metric tons of cultivated meat per year, JBS said, adding it could expand its capacity to 4,000 metric tons per year in the medium term.
“The new BioTech plant puts JBS in a unique position to lead the segment and ride this wave of innovation,” said JBS USA’s head of value added business, Eduardo Noronha.
JBS acquired a 51% stake in Spain’s BioTech in 2021 in a $100 million deal, with $41 million directed to building the new plant, which will be located in San Sebastian.
“With the challenges imposed on global supply chains, cultivated protein offers the potential to stabilize food security and global protein production,” BioTech Foods co-founder and CEO Iñigo Charola said in a statement.
JBS said BioTech plans to gradually increase its production capacity to meet growing consumer demand, and sees Australia, Brazil, the European Union, Japan, Singapore and the United States as key markets.