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Umiami opens €38m plant-based meat factory in France

Umiami, a producer of clean label plant-based meat alternatives, has opened a new 14,000-square-metre factory in Alsace, France. The facility, which will produce plant-based meat and seafood products, was inaugurated this week following a total investment of €38 million. It was supported by €7.5 million funding from France 2030, €1.5 million from the Grand Est Region, and €1.5 million from European EDRF funds. Umiami carried out three years of development and scaling up of production, previously undertaken at a research centre in the Paris region, prior to launching the facility. Spanning a 3.7-hectare site, the food-tech factory employs 53 staff and boasts an annual production capacity of 7,500 tonnes. Umiami plans to increase this to 20,000 tonnes in the future. The inauguration on 18 March was attended by guests such as government officials, regional representatives and local leaders. Original investors and partners including Bpifrance, Astanor Ventures and Redalpine were also present to show their support. Umiami claims that the factory is a ‘world-first,’ focusing solely on large-scale production of plant-based meat and fish fillets using the company’s unique ‘umisation’ texturizing technology. This innovative approach was developed to accurately replicate the taste and texture of thick, whole pieces of meat or fish while preserving their nutritional integrity. Umiami’s plant-based fillets, based on a simple recipe of under ten ingredients, do not contain texturizing agents or additives and allow the brand to meet the rising demand for clean label products within the category. Nicolas Dufourcq, executive director at Bpifrance, commented: “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”. He added: “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”.

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