Umiami launches the world’s inaugural large-scale plant-based meat factory in France

Umiami launched its new factory producing plant-based meat and fish in Alsace (Eastern France) on Monday, 18th March 2024, in an ambitious venture with a total investment of £32.5 million (€38 million), to bolster the company’s production and boosting international growth.

The inauguration was attended by distinguished guests, including government officials, regional representatives, and local leaders. They highlighted the importance of innovation in food and praised Umiami for fostering a thriving plant-based industrial sector in France.

Original investors and partners including the SPI Fund (Sociétés de Projets Industriels) overseen by Bpifrance on behalf of the French government under France 2030, Astanor Ventures, and Redalpine, were present to show their unwavering support for this pioneering company. Guests were given a guided tour of the cutting-edge facility, emblematic of Umiami’s dedication to producing high-quality plant-based alternatives.

Tristan Maurel, Martin Habfast, and Clémence Pedraza, Umiami’s co-founders expressed their gratitude, saying: “The opening of our factory in Alsace represents the culmination of years of innovation, research, and dedication to transforming the food industry. We sincerely thank our partners, teams, and communities for their support as we work towards a more sustainable and ethical future in food.”

Nicolas Dufourcq, executive director of Bpifrance, said: “The inauguration of this first factory marks a pivotal moment in Umiami’s journey, following years of development of a unique technology, and illustrates the ambitions of the SME and Industrial Start-ups plan that we are supporting. Over and above the challenges of reindustrialisation in the Alsace region, the company is developing innovations that will help to promote our agri-food expertise, taking into account the challenges of a low-carbon transition, and we are proud to have supported it throughout the various phases of its development.”

Umiami’s investment of €38 million (£32.5 million) in this facility underlines its key role in French reindustrialisation, revitalising a site slated for closure in 2021. Supported by funding totaling €7.5 million (£6.4 million) from France 2030, €1.5 million (£1.2 million) from the Grand Est Region, and €1.5 million (£1.2 million) from European ERDF funds, the project is the result of three years of dedicated development and scaling up of production, previously undertaken at a research centre in the Paris region.

Spanning a 3.7-hectare site, the factory has an area of 14,000 m2. Presently employing 53 staff, the Foodtech facility boasts an annual production capacity of 7,500 tonnes, with plans to increase to 20,000 tonnes in the future. Strategically positioned in the heart of Europe, the site is poised to boost Umiami’s plans to become a leader in plant-based chicken fillets across Europe and North America.

Franck Leroy, president of the Grand Est Region, remarked: “The establishment of the Umiami factory in the Grand Est region represents a substantial uplift for our area. Beyond job creation, this initiative showcases our commitment to fostering economic growth in our communities and driving forward the ecological transition.”

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