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Believer Meats partners with Bezos Earth Fund and North Carolina State University on Bezos Center for Sustainable Protein

June 3, 2024

Believer Meats, a cultivated meat specialist, has announced a partnership with the Bezos Center for Sustainable Protein at North Carolina State University (NC State). Established through a US$30 million award from the Bezos Earth Fund, the center aims to advance alternative protein production and commercialization to address the projected global protein supply gap in the coming decades.

“At Believer Meats, we are on a mission to make it possible for all future generations to eat meat," said Gustavo Burger, CEO of Believer Meats. "We are doing this not only through great product development, but also by focusing on the core fundamentals that ensure a lasting business. The Bezos Earth Fund grant is a testament to the great work being done in North Carolina and reinforces our decision to locate here. We are excited to partner with the center to contribute our innovative, real-world solutions to meet the increasing demand for protein and nutrition.”

Bezos Earth Fund’s investment strengthens North Carolina’s position as an emerging world-leader for the alternative protein industry, anchored by Believer Meats’ first-of-its-kind commercial-scale production facility in Wilson, N.C., which is set to be operational by the end of 2024. The factory will have a capacity to produce over 26 million pounds of cultivated meat annually once fully operational. Featuring a state-of-the-art innovation center and tasting kitchen, the 200,000ft2 facility will create up to 100 new jobs in food production, food science, and more.

“Innovation alone cannot solve our global nutrition needs in the future," said Andy Jarvis, Director of the Future of Food at The Bezos Earth Fund. "We need to ensure that innovation reaches the market. With NC State and their industry partners like Believer Meats, we see a path to take great products from discovery to commercialization. We’re excited to partner with them to create a future abundant with nutritious and sustainable proteins.”

The Bezos Center for Sustainable Protein at NC State will unite academia, industry, chefs, and policymakers to develop and commercialize advanced protein manufacturing such as cultivated meat, plant-based products, and precision fermentation. The center will form part of an international network of alternative protein centers supported through the Bezos Earth Fund’s Future of Food program.

“Creating alternative protein products that are delicious, appealing, and affordable for consumers is critical if we are going to solve the future demands on our food supply,” said Bill Aimutis, Executive Director of NC Food Innovation Lab (NCFIL) and Co-director of the new center. “The partnership between our center and Believer Meats presents a truly unique opportunity to help diversify our food supply and supplement animal proteins, giving consumers more choice.”

The center will complement North Carolina’s deep-rooted history in agriculture and bioscience innovation, and its supportive business environment.

“The creation of the Research Triangle as a life science powerhouse was made possible by the vision of our business and political leaders,” said Ryan Combs, Executive Director at the Research Triangle Regional Partnership. “The emergence of the alternative protein ecosystem is a logical, adjacent industry that builds on many of the same type of talent. I believe it’s a great complement to our state’s agricultural tradition and positions us as a natural leader in the alternative protein industry.”

(Picture shows Left to right) Ryan Combs, Executive Director of Research Triangle Regional Partnership; Gustavo Burger, CEO of Believer Meats; Bill Aimutis, Executive Director of NC Food Innovation Lab (NCFIL) and Co-Director of the Bezos Center for Sustainable Protein at North Carolina State University; and Andy Jarvis, Director of the Future of Food at The Bezos Earth Fund

If you have any questions or would like to get in touch with us, please email info@futureofproteinproduction.com

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