Europe will soon have the world’s largest vegan meat factory. Plant-based foods manufacturer Plant & Bean is set to open a vegan meat production facility in the U.K.
The new factory will be located in Boston, Lincolnshire. The 65-acre, 55,000-tonne capacity facility will serve as a manufacturer for sub-scale companies, larger international brands, and retailers. The company aims to help meet the growing demand for plant-based food in Europe and the UK.
Edwin Bark, Plant & Bean’s CEO, told FoodNavigator that the plant-based food space is “exciting,” but “there is so much fragmentation.”
“It’s a real issue. Everyone is jumping into this space,” he continued. “If you want to make an impact, you have to drive scale.”
Plant & Bean aims to establish the world’s first global plant-based manufacturing platform. The company plans to open production facilities in the U.S. next year and Asia in 2022.
Vegan Meat Factory Will Help Mend ‘Broken Food System’
According to the Good Food Institute, (GFI), the “low perceived sensory appeal” of plant-based meat is one reason people choose not to eat vegan meat. GFI is a non-profit organization that promotes plant-based living.
In addition to quality, cost also factors into consumer attitudes towards plant-based meat. The non-profit ranked high price as the primary barrier preventing consumers from eating plant-based meat.
Bark says the company’s vegan meat factory will help address these issues.
The large-scale production of plant-based meat will help bring down costs. And by producing products locally, brands will have shorter supply chains—which will result in more cost-savings.
“Today’s announcement underscores our commitment to repair what is a broken food system,” Bark explained in a press release. “With our progressive global manufacturing strategy, brands will finally have the means to scale high-volume product ranges in order to lower the price-point for consumers.”
He continued: “We are making huge strides in improving the taste, texture and appearance of plant-based meat—bringing together the brightest minds in the food industry to reinvent the way we make plant-based meat at the ingredient and process level.”
The company hopes to make breakthroughs in key areas. These include developing “computational breeding technology” to achieve a 50 percent decrease in the cost of peas and beans. Pea protein currently costs twice as much as soy.
“This will be key to creating delicious, healthy, low-cost, plant-based meats that are accessible to everyone,” Bark continued. “We will achieve our foremost objective to improve global health, the biodiversity of the planet and animal welfare, and having a meaningful positive impact on the world we live in.”