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Temasek-backed Eat Just pauses cultivated meat production in Singapore amid challenges

Eat Just halts Singapore’s cultivated meat production, affecting alternative protein’s future. The firm faced setbacks despite 2020’s regulatory nod. #EatJust #Singapore #CultivatedMeat



In a surprising development, the Temasek-backed food technology firm Eat Just Inc. has halted the production of its cultivated meat in Singapore, casting a shadow over the future of alternative protein sources in the region.

The Californian company, which made headlines in 2020 for obtaining the world’s first regulatory approval to sell cultivated meat in Singapore, has faced a series of setbacks leading to the current pause in operations, as reported by The Straits Times (ST).

The pioneering product, known as Good Meat, is a cell-based chicken alternative that was previously available at Huber’s Bistro, the sole restaurant in Singapore offering the novel food. However, checks by ST revealed that Eat Just’s production facility in Bedok, which was expected to commence operations in the third quarter of 2023, remains shuttered, and its products are no longer available at Huber’s Bistro.

In response to inquiries, a spokeswoman for Eat Just cited the evaluation of various processing conditions, unit economics, and a broader strategic approach to production in Asia as reasons for the production pause. The halt has affected not only the anticipated Bedok facility but also a separate commercial manufacturing site previously involved in producing the cultivated chicken products.

This setback is part of a larger pattern of challenges for Eat Just, including legal disputes and financial woes.

In September last year, Bloomberg reported that Eat Just received a US$16M capital injection from existing investor VegInvest/Ahimsa Foundation amid suggestions of a cash crunch.

However, according to Bloomberg, neither of Eat Just’s business segments—vegan eggs or cultivated meat—are profitable, with the company reportedly “unable to pay bills from some of its business partners,” citing anonymous sources familiar with the situation.

Reports have emerged of a legal battle over alleged unpaid invoices and a significant lawsuit from its bioreactor manufacturer, alongside a cost-cutting move that resulted in the dismissal of about 40 employees.

The delay and eventual pause in production mark a significant turn from the company’s ambitious plans for the region, which included a $61 million manufacturing facility for cultivated meat and a separate initiative to build a plant-protein factory for producing plant-based eggs.

Despite raising substantial funding, including a notable US$200 million round led by Qatar’s sovereign wealth fund, the company has had to recalibrate its strategies in the face of operational and financial hurdles.

Anuj Maheshwari, Managing Director of Agribusiness at Temasek Holdings, previously told Bloomberg, “We’re not going to wait until 2050 for plant-based products to become mainstream. It’s going to happen in the next five to seven years.”

He added, “We remain bullish on this; we think the science will develop, and we will continue to invest in this sector,” Maheshwari said. “Unlike the plant-based sector, this is a more long-term game. But for Temasek, it’s exactly the kind of thing we can do, which a lot of our peers might not be able to do.”

According to Bloomberg, as of 2021, Temasek has invested more than US$8 billion across the global agri-food supply chain since 2013, including investments in lab-grown chicken maker Eat Just and Upside Foods. It is unknown how much Temasek has sunk into Just Eat.

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CECA LAND is on a ride on us.

All these cultivated meat /altenative meat products already being sold at supermarkets are too expensive…what good is that? Shouldnt it be economical enuf to feed the masses, instead of only the well to do…
Only then can you proclaim your product invention is truly succcessful..

You think SG so clean & green is it??? Hello.
You think they don’t know or are you acting blind.
Can wake a sleeping person, but you can’t wake someone up who is acting asleep.

Money Laundering at its Best.
Looks like Qatari Fund & Temasek Doing it together with some Nice Obedient Indian Boys in The Industry.

Aye Ya, For Temasek All this is Small Chicken Wing la. Ok
Agri- Food MD another outsourced Indian.
May as well, go plow the fields in India.

I watched a documentary on this and knew instantly it would fail. How much of the many businesses that move here are because of funding given to them? This is hidden from the public. Many Start Ups like Zilingo failed because our govt. bought into “start ups,” without checking to see the investment of the founders. The founders of Zilingo put in about US $60,000/- , TH, US $200,000million. What was the business?An online platform for small time traders to advertise and Zilingo will make commissions if a trade happens. The word “small,” escaped TH who dumped in US$ 200,000/-… Read more »

Eat Just needs the right kind of publicity. May I suggest they sponsor food aid using their cultivated meat products for Gaza? They could have it air-dropped anywhere in Gaza where needed. Highlight that their product is definitely halal.

$8 billion flew off from our reserves!

Temasek shd stop doing business in Singapore to compete with its own people.

it should take on the big boys from Ananti in India to Heatherway. So go out n get there?