Tyson Leads $2 Million Investment in Cultured-Meat Brand

The world's largest meat producer continues to diversify its portfolio—which already includes vegan brand Beyond Meat—by investing in slaughter-free startup Future Meat Technologies.

Tyson New Ventures (TNV), the venture capital arm of global meat company Tyson Foods, co-led a $2.2 million investment in cultured-meat startup Future Meat Technologies (FMT). Israel-based FMT will use the investment to bring its cultured meat (also known as “clean meat,” which is created from a small number of animal cells in a lab-setting) to market by 2020 at a price of $5 to $10 per kilogram (approximately $2.27 to $4.55 per pound). Justin Whitmore, Tyson Executive Vice President for Corporate Strategy, revealed that the investment is a strategic move to position the company to capitalize on growth opportunities as consumers shift to alternatives to animal agriculture. “We continue to invest significantly in our traditional meat business,” Whitmore said, “but also believe in exploring additional opportunities for growth that give consumers more choices.” In 2016, Tyson allocated $150 million to investing in meat alternatives through TNV and invested an undisclosed sum for a five-percent stake in vegan brand Beyond Meat—a share it has since increased to capitalize on Beyond Meat’s exponential growth. In 2018, TNV made its first clean-meat investment in California-based Memphis Meats. Tyson CEO Tom Hayes expressed last year that he believes the future of the meat industry may shift away from traditional animal agriculture, stating, “plant-based protein is growing almost, at this point, a little faster than animal-based, so I think the migration may continue in that direction.” In addition to investing in alternatives to animal agriculture through TNV, Tyson announced it will launch its own line of plant-based bowls under its new brand Green Street later this year.

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