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Believer Meats Aims to Heat Up the Cultivated Meat Market in MENA

Abu Dhabi based AgriFood Growth & Water Abundance (AGWA) and Believer Meats will partner to develop the cultivated meat market in Abu Dhabi.

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Abu Dhabi based AgriFood Growth & Water Abundance (AGWA) and Believer Meats will partner to develop the cultivated meat market in Abu Dhabi.

According to Believer Meats CEO Gustavo Burger, the company aims to establish a regional headquarters in Abu Dhabi that can support commercial operations for regional market expansion, product manufacturing, and research and development.

Burger claims that their presence will bring job opportunities to the region will play a key role in supporting AGWA’s goal to lead global efforts in tackling food security and water scarcity.

“Partnering with AGWA represents a significant step forward in our mission to create a global powerhouse of cultivated meat solutions bringing products to new strategic markets. This collaboration will not only enable us to expand our operations, but also aligns perfectly with our vision of creating a sustainable and more resilient global food system. By leveraging AGWA’s innovative framework and support, we are confident that we can address food security challenges and bring our safe, healthy, and delicious cultivated meat products to the MENA region and beyond,” says Burger.

According to Burger, Believer Meats is focused on developing the world’s most efficient and scalable cell-cultivation production technology to make safe, healthy, and delicious cultivated meat products.

The company claims that it is currently constructing the largest cultivated meat production facility in the world in North Carolina, USA, after its series B fundraise in 2021, which was supported by ADM, S2G Ventures and others. The factory will feature a state-of-the-art innovation center and tasting kitchen, and is set to be operational by the end of 2024.

Commenting on the partnership, Abu Dhabi Investment Office Director General Badr Al Olama says that Believer Meats will be game changer for the cultivated meat market in the MENA region.

“When Abu Dhabi established AGWA, it sought to attract the greatest innovators in food and water. Our partnership with Believer Meats is a firm example of this objective coming to life. A base of operations in Abu Dhabi would enable Believer Meats to bring the very best innovations and products in cultivated meats to the entire region with speed and safety, radically changing the dependency on imported food to the region,” says Al Olama.

Under the leadership of the Abu Dhabi Department of Economic Development (ADDED) and Abu Dhabi Investment Office (ADIO), AGWA aims to become a global hub for novel food and ingredients, as well as technologies that increase access to and enable the efficient utilization of water resources. This cluster is designed to support local suppliers and exporters alike, serving as a platform to maximize commercial opportunities.

The cluster aims to meet increasing global demand, alleviate pressures on agricultural systems, address shifting dietary patterns, capitalize on technological advancements, and support global food security, ensuring a reliable and resilient supply chain.

By 2045, AGWA is expected to contribute AED 90 billion in incremental GDP to Abu Dhabi’s economy, create 60,000+ new jobs, and attract AED 128 billion in investments.

AGWA aims to capitalize on technological advancements to address shifting dietary patterns and support global food security for a reliable and resilient supply chain. The cluster will lead the sector, driving advancements in areas like alternative proteins, functional ingredients, algae farming, and reverse osmosis membranes, while enhancing traditional food and water production and supply.

According to Burger, this strategic collaboration with AGWA aligns with Believer Meats’ vision for a global platform, offering an opportunity to demonstrate a scalable, replicable model to effectively enter and thrive in additional markets.

Burger says that AGWA and Believer Meats will also explore establishing a Believer Meats Innovation Academy dedicated to sustainable food technologies and developing future talent in collaboration with Abu Dhabi-based universities and research centers.

Al Olama says that AGWA will also work with Believer Meats to establish a regulatory pathway and halal certification standards for cultivated meat products in Abu Dhabi.

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