San Francisco-based Eat Just is best known for it’s mung bean egg products, while Proterra Asia is an investment management firm focused on the food and agribusiness sectors.
The consortium will invest up to USD$100m and Eat Just will invest up to US$20m to build and operate its first Asia factory in Singapore. The resulting Eat Just subsidiary, to be known as Eat Just Asia, will serve JUST Egg manufacturing and distribution partners across Asia.
Once built, the factory will generate thousands of metric tons of protein, adding to existing large-scale protein facilities in North America and Germany.
Future facilities that are envisaged to be built in Asia will follow as the demand for protein in the region increases to hundreds of thousands of tonnes, creating additional jobs and infrastructure, said the two firms.
They added the Government of Singapore had provided an 'enabling environment' for the project with support from the Singapore Economic Development Board (EDB).
Eat Just spokesman Andrew Noyes told FoodNavigator-Asia that building work in Singapore would begin early next year.
"We expect to break ground before the end of Q1 2021," he said. "Once built, the facility will create a number of jobs in Singapore."
"We need all the capacity we can get to meet the growing global demand for JUST Egg. The addition of a new protein processing facility in Singapore, in addition to our operations in the U.S. and Germany, will help us bring JUST Egg to consumers across Asia far into the future. The output from all our facilities is growing, not shrinking."
Existing Eat Just distribution partners in Asia include South Korea’s SPC Samlip, Thailand’s Betagro a yet-to-be-announced partnership in mainland China where JUST Egg is already being sold on popular e-commerce platforms like Alibaba-owned Tmall and JD.com.
In the United States, JUST Egg is available at major retailers and is sold to restaurants and other foodservice destinations through a partnership with Michael Foods, a subsidiary of Post Holdings and one of the largest processors of value-added eggs in the world.
To date, Eat Just has sold the plant-based equivalent of more than 60m eggs, saving 2.2bn gallons of water, 8.7m kg of CO2e and 14m square meters of land.
“This partnership will further accelerate our path to become one of the world's largest producers of eggs in the next decade. Proterra’s experience across sourcing and manufacturing will be invaluable. Consumer demand, driven by health, food security and food safety, is creating an environment of extraordinary opportunity for this unique partnership,” said Josh Tetrick, co-founder and CEO of Eat Just.
“Proterra is excited to announce this collaboration to form a strategic alliance with Eat Just for Asia; we would like to help consumers across Asia get better access to the excellent plant-based egg product by establishing a fully integrated supply chain within Eat Just Asia,” added Tai Lin, Managing Partner of Proterra Asia.
Outside the scope of their JUST Egg protein partnership, Eat Just and Proterra Asia are also in discussions to expand their alliance to focus on another promising avenue for protein innovation - the commercial production of cultured meat.
"We look forward to exploring how our partnership with Proterra can evolve to encompass commercialization of cultured meat and we'll consider Singapore as home-base for that collaboration as well," added Noyes.
Eat Just CEO Josh Tetrick will be a keynote speaker during our Growth Asia 2020 interactive broadcast on Plant Based Innovation on October 27. Find out more and register for free here.