JERSEY CITY, N.J.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--After four years of being in stealth, Fork and Good is emerging with the launch of its pilot facility in Jersey City, where it will initially focus on producing cultivated pork with the goal of expanding to other types of meat in the future. The company has raised $22 million to date from investors, led by True Ventures with participation from Leaps by Bayer, Collaborative Fund, Firstminute, Green Monday, Starlight, and others.
Fork and Good is working to offset an existential crisis in conventional pork farming caused by a rise in viral diseases and antibiotic resistance, shrinking water and land resources, as well as concerns about its environmental impact. Combined, these factors have weakened the pork supply chain and contributed to price volatility that threatens to put meat out of reach for many consumers in the near future.
“To sustainably feed 10 billion people by 2050, we need to prioritize the development of alternative protein sources that are both nutritious and affordable at scale, using a fraction of the resources required today. We're excited to see Fork and Good making progress toward this vision,” said Juergen Eckhardt, Head of Leaps by Bayer.
Fork and Good’s initial focus on ground pork aims to help solve supply chain instability in the massive $820 billion global pork market. Its approach is differentiated at the start, as it cultivates muscle cells instead of stem cells, which allows for simpler, cheaper production. Simpler because they only grow meat cells. Cheaper because they don’t need to modify stem cells or other types of cells. Instead of growing cells using scaffolds, the company uses a patented bioprocess and unique bioreactors that increase yield and allow for higher density of production.
“Achieving high yields at an affordable price point is incredibly complex, and Fork and Good is uniquely equipped for the task,” said Adam D’Augelli, True Ventures. “Its Jersey City facility can produce six to ten times more pork per square foot than would be possible using traditional farming methods, with far less water and minimal impact on the surrounding ecosystem."
“Opening our pilot facility brings us one step closer to fulfilling our mission of producing cultivated pork that is both delicious and accessible,” added Niya Gupta, Fork and Good co-founder and CEO. “Given the hype in the space, we didn’t want to go public until we had something real.”
Niya is no stranger to the two-pronged challenge of yield and affordability; prior to Fork and Good, she co-founded ComCrop, an urban farming startup in Singapore that leverages hydroponics to grow large volumes of produce in a small space.
“From my experience in hydroponics, it became clear that low yield was the reason cultivated meat was so expensive,” said Niya. “We measure yield by feed conversion in livestock, and it was too low in cultivated meat. Our feed conversion is already close to that for pigs and we’re on track to be better.”
Niya’s agricultural knowledge is augmented by decades of scientific expertise from co-founder and Chief Scientific Officer Gabor Forgacs. A pioneering biophysicist with a 30+ year academic career, Gabor first introduced the world to cultivated meat on the TEDMED stage in 2011. He is the Scientific Founder of Organovo, a bioprinting company, and Modern Meadow, the first cultivated meat company that today engineers bio-fabricated materials that limit greenhouse gas emissions.
“Making cultivated meat does not require fundamentally new science,” explained Gabor. “Increasing yield at scale requires true innovation. That’s why we’ve focused so much on the process, patenting an approach that is both innovative and economically sound.”
Fork and Good began with a sense of urgency around bringing cultivated meat to market, and is now forging partnerships with food industry leaders to help ensure a future where everyone can access safe, humanely-produced meat that is good for people and the planet.
ABOUT FORK AND GOOD
From its facility in Jersey City, Fork & Good is on a mission to grow the best of meat for everyone, everywhere. The company takes a novel approach to cultivating meat by growing muscle cells directly in proprietary bioreactors for maximum flavor and nutritional value—while drastically reducing the amount of land and water used in conventional livestock production. The team has 150+ years of combined experience that spans food, agriculture, and science, and is committed to helping build the industry in a safe, transparent way. Learn more at: www.forkandgood.com.