Rendering of Believer cultivated meat facility in North Carolina
November 8, 2022
November 8, 2022

Why We Picked North Carolina for Our 1st US Cultivated Meat Factory


The future of meat took a giant leap closer to American plates in December when we broke ground on our first U.S. commercial-scale production facility. When it's up and running, the state-of-the-art cultivated meat factory in Wilson, North Carolina will be the largest in the world, capable of producing 22 million pounds of food a year for consumers across the U.S. and beyond. The groundbreaking followed a year-long search for an innovative ecosystem to call home. We were looking for a community with great research institutions, specialized talent, engaged and supportive leaders and the infrastructure we'll need to become everyone's protein of choice. That means access to roads, rails and ports we'll depend on to keep ingredients flowing into our facility and our delicious, cruelty-free meat flowing out—all at a price that will ensure Believer meats are not a splurge, but something anyone can enjoy.

After visits to more than two dozen locations, we were sold on Wilson, a tech-forward town half an hour from Raleigh and just outside of the state's famous research triangle, the area bounded by Duke, North Carolina State University and UNC-Chapel Hill. Besides these leading universities, the region is home to the largest research and science park in the country and one of the most educated populations in the U.S., which we'll tap into to staff our facility with scientists, engineers and other experts. Over the next three years, we plan to create 100 new jobs in the Wilson area.

Beyond its rich talent pool, we were drawn to the area's infrastructure and history of nurturing industry-spanning tech companies striving to improve the world. Through generous grants and other business incentives, North Carolina has become one of the top states for business in the United States and is quickly growing into an important global hub for agtech and foodtech.

Scaling the Benefits of Cultivated Meat

As an inherently sustainability-focused company, we were eager to join a community of like-minded people and businesses who are striving, like us, to tenaciously dismantle obstacles and achieve what others thought was impossible. Besides using our patented processes to make real meat without raising, slaughtering, or transporting a single animal, our facility will have its own R&D and innovation center, where we'll continue to advance the science and technology of cultivated meat. We are designing the facility to have a minimal footprint with a focus on circularity and sustainability. We are also in discussions with partners to explore renewable energy options.

Another key draw to Wilson was its affordability. Affordable operating costs are an essential ingredient in our mission to scale Believer meats and their positive environmental and social impact. One of the key caveats in all the bullish reports detailing just how substantial an impact cultivated meat can have on conserving global resources and halting climate change is that these predictions will only come true if people everywhere can make a switch to cultivated meat. The best way to ensure that, we believe, is by making Believer cultivated meats affordable and accessible to all. That's why we use cost-efficient fibroblast cells to make our meat instead of stem cells, and why we are constantly striving to keep costs down for people around the world looking for all the things they love about real meat without the usual ethical trade offs.

There's still a long road ahead, but breaking ground on our first U.S. cultivated meat production facility was a critical first step to achieving our vision of creating a better food future, for everyone.

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