REHOVOT, Israel, Sept. 29, 2021 /PRNewswire/ — Aleph Farms, the cultivated meat company growing steaks directly from animal cells that are not genetically engineered and not immortalized, today announced it has signed Memorandums of Understanding (MOUs) with two of Asia’s largest food companies, global protein leader Thai Union and global food and lifestyle company CJ CheilJedang. As part of these agreements, Thai Union and CJ CheilJedang will help to accelerate Aleph’s scale-up, go-to-market activities and elevate distribution of cultivated meat in existing marketing channels across the APAC region. Aleph Farms announced a similar agreement with Mitsubishi in Japan.
Aleph’s recent $105 million Series B funding round was led by L Catterton, the largest global consumer-focused private equity firm, and DisruptAD, ADQ’s venture platform, and included participation from Temasek, a global investment company headquartered in Singapore.
“We are excited to partner with key players in the Asia market and establish a new category of meat products to address increasing consumption in the region,” said Didier Toubia, co-founder and CEO of Aleph Farms. “We carefully consider partnerships that reflect our core values and sustainability commitments, and both Thai Union and CJ share our resolutions for achieving carbon-neutrality and enhancing food security for all people of Asia and around the world. Temasek is an ideal investment partner with an intrinsic understanding of the Asian market.”
Asia is leading the global food industry in supporting and adopting cell-cultured meats. Singapore is the first country in the world to approve cultivated meat and to offer it on a restaurant menu. Cultured chicken had its global debut in Asia, a region of the world that, while vulnerable to food insecurity and struggling with scarcity of natural resources, is also seeing increased meat consumption thanks to rising income, growing populations and increased urbanization.
“We are highly excited to deepen the relationship with Aleph Farms to explore the market potential of alternative beef produced from cultured cells.,” said Sze Cotte Tan, CTO of Food R&D at CJ CheilJedang. “We are at the forefront of a trend in Asia food industry as Asian consumers show increasing interest in alternative proteins, and we have the opportunity to lead consumption patterns toward a more sustainable, resilient future that benefits all of Asia and the world.”
Beef is Southeast Asia’s second fastest growing meat category, with consumption expected to increase as much as 16% by 2022 in a region that, historically speaking, has primarily consumed fish and other seafood. Research from Thai Union and Aleph Farms reveals that 74% of Singaporeans and 97% of Thais are willing to try cultivated meat. In Singapore, a key motivator for trying cultivated meat is the environmental benefits, while in Thailand, diners favor the ability to trace the meat’s origins.
Thai Union is closely tracking changing consumer demands and the need to find new, sustainable ways to meet increased global protein demands to respond to the growing population of the world. Thiraphong Chansiri, President and CEO of Thai Union, said “Following our investment, we are excited to work with Aleph Farms, which is already well known for its technological advancement and strong commitment to sustainability, to further explore collaboration opportunities in Asia.”
Aleph Farms revealed the world’s first cultivated beef steak in 2018, produced meat in space in 2019 and cultivated the world’s first ribeye steak earlier this year. The company is planning an initial market launch in 2022, pending regulatory approval.
About Thai Union
Thai Union Group PCL is the world’s seafood leader bringing high quality, healthy, tasty and innovative seafood products to customers across the world for more than 40 years. Today, Thai Union is regarded as one of the world’s leading seafood producers and is one of the largest producer of shelf-stable tuna products with annual sales exceeding THB 132.4 billion (US$ 4.2 billion) and a global workforce of over 44,000 people who are dedicated to pioneering sustainable, innovative seafood products.
The company’s global brand portfolio includes market-leading international brands such as Chicken of the Sea, John West, Petit Navire, Parmentier, Mareblu, King Oscar, and Rügen Fisch and Thai-leading brands SEALECT, Fisho, Qfresh, Monori, Bellotta and Marvo.
As a company committed to innovation and globally responsible behavior, Thai Union is proud to be a member of the United Nations Global Compact, and a founding member of the International Seafood Sustainability Foundation (ISSF). In 2015, Thai Union introduced its SeaChange® sustainability strategy. Find out more at seachangesustainability.org. Thai Union’s on-going work on sustainability issues was recognized in 2018 and 2019 by being ranked number one in the world in the Food Products Industry in the Dow Jones Sustainability Index, achieving a 100th percentile ranking for total sustainability score. Thai Union has now been named to the DJSI for seven consecutive years. Thai Union was also named to the FTSE4Good Emerging Index for the fifth straight year in 2020.
About CJ CheilJedang
CJ CheilJedang is the core subsidiary in charge of the food and bioengineering business sectors of the CJ Group. It has led the development of the Korean food industry for the past 60 years and contributed to the development of the bioengineering industry as the nation’s top food company. Launched in 1953 as a food ingredient company, CJ CheilJedang has expanded its business to processed foods. CJ CheilJedang has achieved outstanding growth, quantitatively and qualitatively, in food processing and food ingredients in the food business sector, as well as the bio in the bioengineering business sector. We are striving to go beyond being the No. 1 in Korea to becoming a global leader in each business sector. CJ CheilJedang will continue to grow and evolve in the food & bio sectors by practicing the spirit of OnlyOne and develop into a global lifestyle company.
About CJ Group
Creating new businesses and enriching lifestyles since 1953.
Established in 1953, CheilJedang (CJ) began as a food manufacturing company within the Samsung Corporation. Spinning off from Samsung in 1993, CJ Corporation has developed its business portfolio into four core sectors – Food & Food Service, Bio Technology, Entertainment & Media, and Retail & Logistics. Creating products and services that promote a healthy, happy and convenient lifestyle, CJ has since grown into a global lifestyle company with a diversified business portfolio.
CJ is at the forefront of spreading Korean cuisine and innovating lifestyles worldwide.
CJ continuously strives to be innovative with the goal of providing products and services that achieve a high standard of excellence worldwide. Well-known for executing global strategies, CJ now has presence in more than 40 countries. By globalizing Koreans cuisine and spreading Korean culture, CJ hopes to enrich lifestyles across the world.
About Aleph Farms
Aleph Farms grows beef steaks, from non-genetically engineered and non-immortalized cells isolated from a living cow, without harming animals and with a significantly reduced impact to the environment. The company was co-founded in 2017 by Didier Toubia, The Kitchen Hub of the Strauss Group, and Professor Shulamit Levenberg from the Biomedical Engineering Faculty at the Technion – Israel Institute of Technology. The company’s vision is to provide unconditional nutrition for anyone, anytime, anywhere. For more information, please visit www.aleph-farms.com.
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