WILSON – North Carolina’s burgeoning food technology sector is growing again. The cultivated meat company Believer Meats will invest more than $123 million in Wilson County in its first commercial-scale food manufacturing facility in the Wilson Corporate Park.
To staff that facility, the company plans to hire at least 100 workers for jobs that pay an average of more than $60,000, according to the details of a performance-based grant through the One North Carolina Fund and a statement released by the office of North Carolina Governor Roy Cooper.
“We’re pleased to welcome Believer Meats to North Carolina,” said Governor Cooper. “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.”
The greater Triangle region ranked 10th globally in a 2022 ranking of food technology ecosystems.
Scalable, lab-grown meat production
The company, which is doing business as Believer Meats but is also known as Future Meat Technologies Inc., is described in a statement as the “first scalable lab-grown meat production system that can feed the world.”
A pilot plant was established by the company in Rehovot, Israel. According to Nicole Johnson-Hoffman, CEO of Believer Meats, the opening of the Wilson facility is “a watershed moment for our company.”
Johnson-Hoffman also added that the opening of the facility could be thought of as a watershed moment for the entire sector.
“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,” said Johnson-Hoffman. “Believer is on a mission to ensure that future generations can enjoy the meat we know and love today.
An economic model used by the State of North Carolina projects that the annual payroll impact of the new plant will be in excess of $6 million. New jobs will include opportunities for PhDs, scientists, food production professionals, and other personnel, according to the statement.