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Abu Dhabi’s new food and water cluster, AGWA (AgriFood Growth & Water Abundance) and Believer Meats have announced a new partnership to develop cultivated meat capabilities in Abu Dhabi.


Through the collaboration, Believer Meats hopes to establish a presence in Abu Dhabi, aiming to leverage the United Arab Emirates’ strategic location and resources to further its growth in the Middle East & North African (MENA) region.


Under the deal, Believer Meats will establish a regional headquarters in Abu Dhabi that can support commercial operations for regional market expansion, product manufacturing and R&D. AGWA expects these capabilities and job opportunities to play a key role in tackling food security and water scarcity in Abu Dhabi.


AGWA aims to capitalise on technological advancements to address shifting dietary patterns and support global food security for a reliable and resilient supply chain. The cluster hopes to lead the sector, driving advancements in areas like alternative proteins, functional ingredients, algae farming and reverse osmosis membranes, while enhancing traditional food and water production and supply.



The two companies will also look to establish a Believer Meats Innovation Academy dedicated to sustainable food technologies, developing future talent in collaboration with Abu Dhabi-based universities and research centres. AGWA will also work with Believer Meats to establish a regulatory pathway and halal certification standards for cultivated meat products in Abu Dhabi.


Badr Al-Olama, director general of the Abu Dhabi Investment Office (ADIO), said: “When Abu Dhabi established AGWA, it sought to attract the greatest innovators in food and water. Our partnership with Believer Meats is a firm example of this objective coming to life. A base of operations in Abu Dhabi would enable Believer Meats to bring the very best innovations and products in cultivated meats to the entire region with speed and safety, radically changing the dependency on imported food to the region.”


Gustavo Burger, CEO of Believer Meats, commented: “Partnering with AGWA represents a significant step forward in our mission to create a global powerhouse of cultivated meat solutions bringing products to new strategic markets. This collaboration will not only enable us to expand our operations, but also aligns perfectly with our vision of creating a sustainable and more resilient global food system.”


Burger continued: “By leveraging AGWA’s innovative framework and support, we are confident that we can address food security challenges and bring our safe, healthy, and delicious cultivated meat products to the MENA region and beyond”.


Led by the Abu Dhabi Department of Economic Development and ADIO, AGWA is set to become a global hub for novel food and ingredients, as well as technologies that increase access to and enable the efficient utilisation of water resources. The cluster aims to meet increasing global demand, alleviate pressures on agricultural systems, address shifting dietary patterns, capitalise on technological advancements and support global food security, ensuring a reliable and resilient supply chain.


Believer Meats is currently constructing the ‘largest’ cell-based meat production facility in the world in North Carolina, US. The factory will feature an innovation centre and tasting kitchen and is set to be operational by the end of this year.


A mock-up of Believer's new site in North Carolina
A mock-up of Believer's new site in North Carolina

By 2045, AGWA is expected to contribute AED 90 billion (approx. $24.5 billion) in incremental GDP to Abu Dhabi’s economy, creating 60,000+ new jobs and attracting AED 128 billion (approx. $34.85 billion) in investments.


#BelieverMeats #AGWA #AbuDhabi

AGWA and Believer Meats partner to advance cell-based meat capabilities in Abu Dhabi

Phoebe Fraser

17 June 2024

AGWA and Believer Meats partner to advance cell-based meat capabilities in Abu Dhabi

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