September 6, 2021
Possibility of Qatar becoming next country to allow sale of cell-based meat
Qatar may become the second country after Singapore to permit the sale of cell-based meat.
The Qatar Free Zones Authority (QFZA) and the country's Ministry of Public Health recently indicated an intent to grant regulatory approval for GOOD Meat – the cultured meat branch of California, United States-based food tech company Eat Just.
"Our team is grateful to take the next step in our global expansion in the Qatar Free Zones," Eat Just co-founder and chief executive officer Josh Tetrick said. "Their commitment to accelerating our work in building a more sustainable food system was apparent from day one of our dialogue—and we're expecting to look back decades from now on this partnership with them as key to how we made that vision a reality."
Eat Just partnered with Doha Venture Capital (DVC) and the QFZA to establish its first-ever cultured meat production facility in the Middle East and North Africa region.
The company intends to build its new facility in the Umm Alhoul Free Zone, giving it access to the Hamad Port. The facility will be dedicated to producing GOOD Meat's sustainable cultured meat products. The company also announced that it plans to open another facility in the region to produce its signature JUST Egg products.
Qatar's partnership with Eat Just is heavily motivated by the country's mission to become less dependent on imports. By helping Eat Just establish a food production facility, Qatar will establish an internal supply of sustainable plant- and cell-based proteins. The country intends to become a major exporter of plant-based and cell-based products in the region. Access to the port will allow for significant exports to surrounding countries.
QFZA and the Ministry of Health formally granted Eat Just an export license to encourage and enhance the company's distribution.
"At QFZA, we help companies cut through the noise to rapidly establish and grow efficient operations, using Qatar's unparalleled connectivity and access to expand worldwide," QFZA CEO Lim Meng Hui said. "We're particularly focused on companies shaping the future of their industries, and Eat Just's team is doing just that."
Waiting on regulatory approval, Eat Just will prepare for the distribution and sale of its cultured meat products. Following approval from the government, Qatar will become the second country to introduce the innovative product onto the market. The government intends to push innovation and sustainability within its food production industry to adhere to a growing demand for food with low environmental costs.
"Our free zones are characterised by innovation, technology, accelerated growth and environmental awareness, and Eat Just is a natural partner across all four of these areas," Hui added. "Our food, agritech and biomedical sectors continue to grow rapidly, supported by the world-leading cold chain storage capabilities of our airport and port, and we look forward to working with Eat Just as they establish and scale in the region and worldwide."
"Eat Just is a highly innovative company with a bright future, and we're pleased to be one of the investors in the company and welcome them to Qatar Free Zones," DVC CEO Mohammed Al Abdulla said.
"This partnership is a prime example of our commitment to supporting high-growth disruptors as they develop technologies that will change the world while helping them take advantage of the many opportunities here in Qatar and across the region."
- The Beet