Manufacturing & Technology

MYCO Announces “Food Industry First” Site for Oyster Mushroom Protein to Meet Demand for Sustainable Meat Alternatives

MYCO, a UK producer of Hooba, an oyster mushroom protein, announces that it has secured a 20,000 square feet former facility in Leeming Bar, North Yorkshire, with plans to transform it into a vertical farm unit and a product development plant for sustainable meat alternatives.

“This new site is a food industry first”

The plant will be specifically repurposed to support the company’s next growth phase, creating 70 jobs in the next few years “to cope with the expected influx of demand for plant-based foods.” According to the company, it will be the first site of its kind in the UK.

“This new site is a food industry first, and the concept of combining both the growing of the raw materials and the manufacturing of the finished product under one roof will pave the way for more sustainable food manufacturing practices in the future,” said John Shepherd, co-founder and chairman of MYCO.

Hooba protein burger by MYCO

Unlocking Hooba’s potential

Founded in 2016, the company was originally Hooba in its early iteration and now operates as MYCO Holdings. The firm has developed a patented system of AI-controlled, vertical farms to produce a ready-to-use, protein-rich meat replacement made from oyster mushrooms with incredible sustainability credentials.

Hooba is said to be an ideal ingredient to create healthier and tasty meat alternatives. The company also claims it has proven virtually indistinguishable from real animal meat in taste tests. Besides proteins, Hooba contains micronutrients found in oyster mushrooms, such as antioxidants, niacin, vitamin D, iron, magnesium, potassium, vitamin C, and folic acid.

Various vegan and vegetarian manufacturers use it as a key ingredient to create meat-free sausages, burgers, sausage rolls, bolognese, lasagne, and more, says the MYCO. A notable example is the bakery leader Wall’s, which incorporates Hooba into its vegan offerings, including its popular vegan sausage roll. 

MYCO has announced that it has secured a former facility to transform it into a vertical production unit of oyster mushrooms and a product development facility.
John Shepherd (L), David Wood, and Julian “Jay” Croslegh (R) – Image courtesy of MYCO

David Wood, former MD of VBites (which entered administration in December), was recently appointed as CEO of MYCO to create and launch a new sustainable food strategy ahead of the company’s expansion. According to Wood, the new unit will help future-proof the business while allowing it to expand on multiple fronts, offering innovative ingredients and products to the plant-based market. 

“MYCO’s goal isn’t to turn the world into vegans but is to encourage meat-eaters to eat more sustainable plant-based products. We believe we can achieve this by having products that taste fantastic and are made with kitchen cupboard ingredients. 

“We hope our unique, sustainable approach can be mirrored by other food producers as ultimately, our biggest priority is to help the planet survive – we just hope we can play our part,” Wood adds. 

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