The plant is operated by Shanghai-based startup CellX. CellX CEO Ziliang Yang describes it as a step toward bringing artificial meat to life before it enters mass production. The plant currently produces less than 10 tons of meat per year, and CellX aims to produce hundreds of tons per year by 2025.
Ensuring food security for its 1.4 billion people is one of China’s top priorities, especially as the country advocates reducing its dependence on imports. According to the South China Morning Post, China expressed support for artificial meat in May 2022, partly to reduce the environmental impact of the traditional livestock industry.
CellX company’s artificial meat dishes Photo: CellX
CEO Yang revealed that this pilot plant is also tasked with helping CellX increase the competitiveness of artificial meat by immediately reducing the production cost to less than 100 USD/pound (1 pound = 0.45 kg). Also in 2023, CellX plans to enter the US and Singapore markets, the first two countries in the world to allow the sale of artificial meat. Singapore greenlight for artificial meat by the end of 2020, following the Lion Island nation’s footsteps in June this year to synthesize chicken products in the lab of Eat Just Company, USA.
Established in 2020, CellX launched artificial pork samples in September 2021. The young company also signed a cooperation contract with seafood company Blue (Germany) in mid-2022 to jointly expand markets in China and Europe.