The company opened its 53,000 square foot Engineering, Production and Innovation Center (EPIC) in November, with the aim of being able to produce cultivated meat of any species. The facility was intentionally built within an urban community to increase transparency.
Recognising that many consumers have concerns or misconceptions about cultivated meat, UPSIDE has decided to offer public tours to help raise awareness of the benefits. The first tour was hosted on March 7, featuring a walkthrough of the facility, a presentation about how cultivated meat is produced, and a meet and greet with founder and CEO Dr. Uma Valeti. Future tours will be hosted every quarter.
The tour comes on the heels of UPSIDE’s recent acquisition of cultivated seafood startup Cultured Decadence. The startup will help to expand and complement UPSIDE’s range with products such as cultivated lobster.
In December, UPSIDE revealed it had developed a cell medium entirely free of animal products, an important milestone for avoiding the use of animals and reducing the cost of cultivated meat. The company also announced a partnership with three-Michelin-starred chef Dominique Crenn last year — UPSIDE products will be served at Crenn’s restaurant, though not until they have received regulatory approval.
“In order for cultivated meat to have a positive impact on the world, consumers need to understand it and embrace it,” said Uma Valeti, CEO and founder of UPSIDE Foods. “We know that the more people learn about cultivated meat, the more excited they become about it. That’s why we intentionally designed EPIC to be a place where people can come and see for themselves how our process works. These tours offer an unprecedented view into meat cultivation and production. For the first time, delicious and sustainable meat can be produced under one roof, in the middle of an urban community, and in full view of consumers.”