AGWA and Believer Meats Collaborate to Advance Cultivated Meat Production in Abu Dhabi

AGWA (AgriFood Growth & Water Abundance), Abu Dhabi’s innovative food and water cluster, and Believer Meats, a global leader in cultivated meat, have announced a collaboration to develop cultivated meat capabilities in Abu Dhabi. This partnership aims to leverage the Emirate’s strategic location and resources to fuel growth in the Middle East & North African (MENA) region. Believer Meats plans to establish a regional headquarters in Abu Dhabi to support commercial operations, market expansion, product manufacturing, and research and development. This initiative will bolster AGWA’s mission to tackle global food security and water scarcity.

AGWA seeks to harness technological advancements to address changing dietary patterns and enhance global food security, ensuring a reliable and resilient supply chain. The cluster will drive progress in alternative proteins, functional ingredients, algae farming, and reverse osmosis membranes, while also enhancing traditional food and water production.

Believer Meats, a leader in the cultivated meat industry, is focused on developing efficient and scalable cell-cultivation production technology to create safe, healthy, and delicious cultivated meat products. The company is currently building the world’s largest cultivated meat production facility in North Carolina, USA, set to be operational by the end of 2024. This facility will feature an innovation center and tasting kitchen.

The collaboration with AGWA aligns with Believer Meats’ vision of establishing a global platform to thrive in new markets. AGWA and Believer Meats will also explore creating a Believer Meats Innovation Academy in Abu Dhabi, dedicated to sustainable food technologies and talent development in partnership with local universities and research centers. Additionally, they will work on establishing regulatory pathways and halal certification standards for cultivated meat products in Abu Dhabi.

Badr Al-Olama, Director General of the Abu Dhabi Investment Office (ADIO), stated: “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.”

Gustavo Burger, CEO of Believer Meats, added: “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 enable us to expand our operations and aligns perfectly with our vision of creating a sustainable and 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.”

Led by the Abu Dhabi Department of Economic Development (ADDED) and the Abu Dhabi Investment Office (ADIO), AGWA is poised to become a global hub for novel food and ingredients, as well as technologies that enhance water resource utilization. This cluster is designed to support local suppliers and exporters, maximizing commercial opportunities and meeting global demand. By 2045, AGWA is expected to contribute AED 90 billion to Abu Dhabi’s GDP, create over 60,000 new jobs, and attract AED 128 billion in investments.

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