- Global ingredients and commodities giant Archer Daniels Midland signed a non-exclusive memorandum of understanding with cultivated meat maker Believer Meats to collaborate on propelling development and commercialization of cultivated meat products.
- Under the terms of the agreement, the companies will work together on product improvement items using ADM’s ingredients and expertise in nutrition to enhance Believer’s cultivated meat process. The agreement also lays out a path to utilize ADM’s processing expertise and footprint to potentially commercialize newly created products.
- The two companies have been affiliated for some time. Through its venture arm, ADM co-led the $347 million Series B funding round for Believer Meats — then known as Future Meat Technologies — in 2021.
Since 2021, ADM’s affiliation with Believer Meats has given the cultivated meat maker the ability to advance its technology and scale, as well as move closer to commercialization.
Its co-leadership in the funding round two years ago — which was at the time the largest single investment round ever for a cultivated meat company — gave Believer the money and support to begin construction on its pending 200,000-square-foot commercial-scale manufacturing facility in North Carolina.
This memorandum of understanding will help improve the meat that will be made at the North Carolina facility, which is slated to begin operation next year. It brings ADM’s product development expertise to Believer Meats to help the company create cultivated products that meet nutritional, taste and textural expectations. Some of these products could also get a manufacturing and distribution assist from ADM once they are ready and approved for consumption.
In a release about the partnership, ADM Global Foods President Leticia Gonçalves said ADM is working with alternative protein companies, including Believer, to help sustainably expand the protein ecosystem and ensure food security as the world population expands.
“Cultivated meat represents an exciting evolution and yet another way to meet long-term food security needs — along with other traditional and novel sources of protein,” Gonçalves said.
In recent years, ADM has forged similar partnerships with other alternative protein companies. Ian Pinner, ADM senior vice president of strategy and innovation, said in an interview last year that the company sees and appreciates good up-and-coming technologies from startups. Instead of trying to recreate those technologies within ADM, Pinner said the company has worked with the startups and the teams that are doing things well.
ADM has a similar partnership with Good Meat, the cultivated meat division of Eat Just. That joint development agreement, which was announced last year, both includes collaborating on improving cell growth media and improving taste and texture of cultivated meat products.
This is the second partnership between Believer and Big Food. In 2021, Nestlé said it was working with Believer to explore the potential of cultivated meat. No specifics about the collaboration were disclosed, but reports at the time indicated Nestlé was working with Believer to develop products blending cultivated meat and plant-based ingredients. In December, Believer Executive Vice President of Global Commercialization Michael Lenahan told Food Dive the company still has a “close relationship” with Nestlé.