Believer Meats is investing $123 million to build its first commercial-scale food manufacturing facility in Wilson County, about 40 miles east of Raleigh.
“We’re pleased to welcome Believer Meats to North Carolina,” Gov. Roy Cooper said in a statement. “This important decision to build its first U.S. commercialization operation in Wilson County validates our innovative research and development and highly skilled talent while further cementing our state as the best in the nation to do business.”
Believer Meats is a cultivated meat company pioneering the first scalable lab-grown meat production system that can feed the world. Founded in 2018 by Professor Yaakov Nahmias, Believer is gearing up for its product launch in the U.S., pending regulatory review. The new facility will be located in the Wilson Corporate Park.
The 200,000-square-foot facility will be the largest cultivated meat production center in the world with the capacity to produce at least 10,000 metric tons of cultivated meat, without the need to slaughter a single animal
“Believer is on a mission to ensure that future generations can enjoy the meat we know and love today. Breaking ground on our first U.S. facility is not only a watershed moment for our company, but for the category as a whole, as it demonstrates our commitment to making cultivated meat a reality,” said Nicole Johnson-Hoffman, CEO of Believer Meats. “The scale of our facility is a giant leap forward in ensuring that we can create meat that is not only delicious, sustainable, and nutritious, but also broadly accessible.”
A performance-based grant of $500,000 from the One North Carolina Fund will help with Believer Meats’ location to North Carolina. The One NC Fund provides financial assistance to local governments to help attract economic investment and to create jobs. Companies receive no money upfront and must meet job creation and capital investment targets to qualify for payment.
“This is a fantastic economic development win for Wilson and the entire state,” said N.C. Senator Milton F. Toby Fitch, Jr. “Believer Meats could have taken this project anywhere in the world, but they chose Wilson County thanks to the diligent work and collaboration of our hardworking economic development professionals and local and state leaders.”