SÃO PAULO –JBS SA has made its first move into the cultivated meat market. The world’s largest meat producer announced on Nov. 17 that it would make a $100 million investment into cultivated protein and also acquire Spanish Company BioTech Foods SL. The company said it would also construct a new $41 million plant in Spain to scale production of BioTech’s product.

BioTech Foods was founded in 2017 and operated its first plant out of San Sebastián, Spain. The company is moving toward commercial production of cultivated protein by mid-2024.

The cultivated meat company plans on making various prepared foods, such as hamburgers, sausages and meatballs, among others, with the same quality, safety, flavor and texture of traditional protein. JBS said the technology for the company has the potential for cultivated chicken, pork and fish along with beef.

Additionally, JBS will start the first Center for Research and Development (R&D) in biotechnology and cultivated protein in Brazil. The new center is expected to be open in 2022 and develop new techniques that will accelerate the scale of cultivated products and reduce production costs.

During April, JBS made another meat alternative investment when it acquired Vivera, a large European plant-based food company, at a value of €341 million ($410 million). Three manufacturing facilities in the Netherlands were also included in the deal.