JBS begins construction of world’s largest cultivated beef protein plant

By Bethan Grylls

- Last updated on GMT

A 3D rendering of the front view of the new BioTech Foods plant
A 3D rendering of the front view of the new BioTech Foods plant

Related tags cultivated meat cultured meat lab-grown alternative protein

JBS believes the BioTech Foods facility will strengthen food security and transform the company into global cultivated protein leader.

JBS has begun building the world’s largest cultivated beef protein plant in San Sebastián, Spain.

The first commercial scale industrial plant of BioTech Foods, of which JBS is the majority shareholder (53%), is expected to be completed next year and should aid the accelerated development of the cultivated protein market worldwide.

With an investment of circa US $41mn, the plant will be capable of producing more than 1,000 tones per year, with the potential to reach a production capability of 4,000 tons annually in the medium-term.  

Built on a 20,000 square metre plot of land, it will be constructed with a view that the facilities will expand in the future. BioTech Foods is planning to gradually increase its production capacity to address growing consumer demand and has already identified key markets like Australia, Brazil, the European Union, Japan, Singapore and the United States.

Listen our interview with JBS global head of innovation and operation excellence​, as he spoke to Food Manufacture's Gwen Ridler on the company's plans for alternatives proteins last year. 

It is also estimated that around 150 jobs will be created from the development of this new site, including qualified research and development professionals.

Commenting on the move, Iñigo Charola, cofounder and CEO of BioTech Foods, said: “BioTech Foods has the technology and capacity to produce protein on a large scale in a sustainable and innovative manner, addressing commercial needs around the world. Given the challenges imposed on global supply chains, cultivated protein has the potential to stabilise food security and global protein production​.”

JBS is also going to construct a latest generation biotechnology and cultivated protein R&D centre in Florianópolis, Santa Catarina, a state in the Southern region of Brazil. The JBS Biotech Innovation Center will receive an estimated $60 million investment. The goal is to develop 100% Brazilian technology to produce alternative proteins.

This follows news of the company's three new Green Offices in Brazil​ which opened earlier this year. 

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