Manufacturing & Technology

Hoxton Farms Opens “UK’s First” Cultivated Animal Fat Pilot Production Facility

London-based biotech firm Hoxton Farms has opened what it claims is the UK’s first pilot production facility for cultivated animal fat.

The 14,000-square-foot site on Old Street in Central London features specialist cell culture laboratories, a food development kitchen, office space, and communal areas. There is also a workshop for the manufacturing of bespoke bioreactors, designed to produce cultivated fat at a much lower cost than standard bioreactors. These have been developed using Hoxton Farms’ technology platform, which is based on computational biology and mathematical modelling.

Price parity with plant oils

Following the opening of the new facility, Hoxton Farms plans to expand its team from 40 to 100 people. Additionally, production capacity will be increased to ten tonnes of cultivated fat per year. The company says it is on track to achieve price parity with plant oils when it moves from pilot to commercial scale.

“As people turn away from meat because of concerns over health, environmental impact, or animal welfare, flexitarianism is booming,” said Max Jamilly, co-founder of Hoxton Farms. “Cultivated fat is the missing ingredient for creating irresistible meat alternatives, unlocking the delicious taste and experience of the real thing without the environmental or ethical impact.”

© Hoxton Farms

“The best place possible”

The news comes after Hoxton Farms raised $22 million in a Series A funding round last October. The round was led by Collaborative Fund, an early backer of Impossible Foods and Beyond Meat, along with Fine Structure Ventures. The company announced at the time that it planned to use the funding for its pilot facility.

By opening a production site in Central London, Hoxton Farms aims to demonstrate that cultivated fat can be grown anywhere. It comes as the UK government increasingly shows support for cultivated products, investing £12 million into a cellular agriculture hub earlier this year. Politicians are also said to be considering more agile regulations for the industry, and Hoxton Farms has previously said it is optimistic about achieving regulatory approval.

“By bringing cellular agriculture to the city on a wider scale, rather than a remote business park, we are in the best place possible to find the customers, partners, investors, and talent that we need, and to raise awareness of cultivated fat in a market that has shown it is ready for meat alternatives,” said Ed Steele, co-founder of Hoxton Farms. “We’re excited to work closely with industry stakeholders as we seek regulatory approval for our ingredient, and guide the industry towards a tastier, fattier future.”

>> Click here to go to Cultivated X where you will see a familiar layout and a focus solely on content regarding cellular agriculture, including fermentation-enabled products, and with more granular categories.

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