JBS SA is spending $100 million to get into cultured protein in a big way.
JBS, the world’s biggest meat company, has reached an agreement to acquire BioTech Foods, a Spanish pioneer in cultivated protein, and to build a new production plant for it in Spain. Founded in 2017, BioTech Foods operates a pilot plant in the city of San Sebastián. With the new plant, BioTech expects to begin commercial production in mid-2024.
In addition, JBS plans to build a research and development center for cultivated protein in Brazil, where it is headquartered. It will include a pilot plant of up to 107,000 sq. ft. and will employ about 25 researchers.
"We are expanding our global platform to address the new trends in consumption and the growth of the global population,” CEO Gilberto Tomazoni said in a statement. “The acquisition of BioTech Foods and the new research center put JBS in a unique position to push ahead in the cultivated protein sector.”
JBS’s investments in cultured meat are estimated to total about $100 million. The deal for BioTech is subject to approval by Spanish authorities.