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Israel’s Aleph Farms and meatmaker BRF to bring cultured steak to Brazil

Partnership will co-develop and produce cultivated meat using Aleph’s tech, which can make whole-muscle steaks from cattle cells without the use of animals

Shoshanna Solomon is The Times of Israel's Startups and Business reporter

The ribeye cultured meat steak developed by Aleph Farms (Aleph Farms and Technion Israel Institute of Technology)
The ribeye cultured meat steak developed by Aleph Farms (Aleph Farms and Technion Israel Institute of Technology)

Aleph Farms, Ltd. and BRF S.A., a global Brazilian meat and food maker, have signed an accord to jointly develop cultivated meat and bring it to Brazilian tables.

Under the memorandum of understanding, Aleph and BRF will co-develop and produce cultivated meat using Aleph’s patented BioFarm technology. BRF will distribute the cultivated beef products in Brazil.

This partnership will help strengthen BRF’s supply chain and reduce its environmental impact, while diversifying the company’s product offering to meet the growing consumer demand for a variety of meat products, Aleph said in a statement.

The new partnership advances Aleph Farms’ strategy to integrate its products into the existing meat consumption ecosystem, said Didier Toubia, co-founder and CEO of Aleph Farms, in a statement. “Leveraging the expertise and infrastructure of leading food and meat companies will drive a faster scale-up of cultivated meat and eventually lead to a broader positive impact. As one of the largest beef producers in the world, Brazil is a strategic market for us.”

A cultured meat steak developed by Aleph Farms (Courtesy)

Aleph Farms will bring to the partnership its manufacturing BioFarm technology to cultivate whole-muscle steaks from cattle cells without the use of animals.

BRF is one of the largest meat producers in the world, with over 30 brands in its portfolio and over 95,000 employees around the world. The firm had revenue of approximately BRL 39 billion (approximately $7.25 billion) and invested over BRL 155 million in 2020 in projects to reduce environmental impact.

The partnership with Aleph is part of BRF’s 2030 Vision strategy to play a key role in the ongoing “food revolution,” said CEO Lorival Luz. “Since 2014, we have witnessed an increasing global demand for new sources of protein driven by several factors, namely environmental concerns, new diets and lifestyles, which has spurred the growth of new dietary genres including flexitarianism, vegetarianism and more.”

Brazil has committed to cut total net greenhouse gas emissions by 43% in 2030. In April 2020, Aleph Farms committed to eliminating emissions associated with its meat production by 2025 and reach net-zero emissions across its entire supply chain by 2030. With livestock accounting for significant greenhouse gas emissions and demand for meat expected to continue growing, Aleph Farms’ partnerships with industry incumbents can help companies and countries reach their climate goals, the statement said.

In January, Aleph Farms said it had teamed up with Japan’s Mitsubishi Corp. to bring cultured meat to Japan. The Israeli firm has set up similar partnerships with other multinationals. Migros, the Swiss industrial group, and US-based food corporation Cargill have also invested in the startup.

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