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UPSIDE Foods, the leading cultivated meat, poultry, and seafood company, has announced plans to build its first commercial-scale factory.

The 187,000-square-foot facility, called “Rubicon,”  will be based in Glenview, Illinois, and is expected to bring at least 75 new jobs to the greater Chicagoland region.

With an initial capacity to produce millions of pounds of cultivated meat products each year – and the potential to expand up to 30 million pounds – the plant represents a significant step forward in creating a more humane, sustainable, and resilient food system, according to the company.

“We’re excited that the next chapter of our journey towards building a more sustainable, humane, and abundant future will be in Illinois,” said Dr. Uma Valeti, CEO and Founder of UPSIDE Foods. “Establishing our plant in this region allows us to tap into a remarkable talent pool, a thriving innovation ecosystem, and a notable history of meat production. We are grateful for the collaboration and partnership that we have built at the state, county, and local levels in our site selection process.”

Cultivated meat, also known as cell-based meat, is created using animal cells to grow muscle tissue in a lab, which can then be harvested and processed into various meat products. This emerging industry has the potential to revolutionize the way we produce and consume meat, offering a more sustainable and ethical alternative to traditional animal agriculture.

UPSIDE made history earlier this year when it received a grant of inspection from the USDA – the final approval needed to begin commercial production and sale of its cultivated chicken meat in the United States.

This was followed by additional milestones, including the first-ever consumer sale of cultivated meat in the US, a $400M Series C funding round bringing the company’s valuation to over $1 billion, and the expansion of its commercial portfolio with the launch of a new range of cultivated ground meat products.

Now, UPSIDE’s Midwest expansion will help the California-based company increase scalability, and reduce production cost: two of the major hurdles remaining when it comes to bringing cultivated meat to the masses.

“We are proud to partner with UPSIDE Foods as they make the strategic decision to harness the unparalleled strengths of the greater Chicagoland region,” said Kyle Schulz, Executive Vice President, World Business Chicago. “Their groundbreaking work in growing meat, poultry, and seafood directly from animal cells aligns with our region’s commitment to innovation, sustainability, and the future of food.

“We are excited to support UPSIDE Foods in their journey and work together to promote the greater Chicagoland region as a hub for innovative and sustainable solutions that address the challenges of our time and continue the Chicagoland legacy in protein production.”

Original source: https://www.speciesunite.com