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Israeli start-up partners with European poultry giant

One of Europe’s largest poultry producers PHW-Gruppe has formed a strategic partnership with clean meat start-up company SuperMeat.

The German-based company, which employs nearly 7,000 people and has over 35 enterprises and associated companies, said the partnership would boost its position in the vegan market.

Peter Wesjohann, PHW-Gruppe’s chief executive officer, said the partnership made good sense: “We at PHW have time and again left the beaten path in conducting our business.

“This approach not only facilitates the development of best-in-class animal welfare concepts in our core poultry business, but will also lead to the strengthening of our vegan product portfolio, confirming our leading role in the global consumer trend towards a cleaner, more protein-rich diet.”

PHW has also become an equity investor in the company, and Mr Wesjohann said SuperMeat’s aims were consistent with “our pursuit to provide Europe with sustainable, clean foods.”

“We do not see this transaction as a financial investment but rather as the beginning of a long-term strategic partnership,” he added.

SuperMeat said this week that it had raised $3m in seed funding, with backers including US-based venture capital fund New Crop Capital and Stray Dog Capital. Both firms have previously invested in more sustainable food systems, and have backed US-based Beyond Meat and SunFed.

Extracted from chicken

SuperMeat’s clean meat is produced by growing cells that have been painlessly extracted from a chicken. The cells are then grown in conditions that allows them to thrive, forming high-quality chicken cuts.

The Tel-Aviv-based company expects to bring its clean chicken products to the market in the very near future, at a price-point similar to the conventional chicken products currently available on store shelves.

Both the UN Food and Agricultural Organisation (FAO) and the White House have recently publicly proclaimed the importance of biotechnology in securing alternative protein sources for a growing world population. Demand for meat is projected to double by 2050.

New generation of meat

Ido Savir, SuperMeat co-founder and chief executive officer, said he was proud to partner with PHW to create a new generation of meat products that were sustainable, cost-efficient and animal friendly.

“We are proud to partner with a top-tier meat producer like PHW; this partnership will enable us to bring to market a revolutionary new generation of tasty, sustainable meat products throughout Europe and beyond.”

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