US-based alternative proteins manufacturer Eat Just has set out the reasons for a pause in its production of cultivated meat in Singapore.

The company’s cell-based meat arm, Good Meat, has paused the sale of cultured chicken to Hubers Bistro diners in the country. Eat Just is preparing for “a new phase of selling to consumers”, a spokesperson said.

It paused the service to Hubers in December.

When asked about the rationale behind the pause, a company spokesperson said the group has always manufactured cultivated chicken via a third party in Singapore, and that production “has never been continuous”.

A production facility located in eastern Singapore, originally predicted to open in 2023, is also not yet operational, Eat Just confirmed.

Speaking to Just Food, the spokesperson said that the group “broke ground” on the site in 2022 and that it intended to open the facility “in the near future”.

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They added the company will “resume production and service to consumers (in partnership with Huber’s Butchery), very soon”, and “will produce more Good Meat chicken in 2024 than every other year combined.”

The spokesperson said it will make an announcement on its plans for Singapore in “the coming weeks” but it is still “ironing out details”.

Eat Just has operated its cell-based meat unit in Singapore since November 2020, when it became the first company globally to be granted regulatory approval for the sale and distribution of cultivated chicken by the Singapore Food Agency.

In January 2023, it was given the green light to use its “serum-free media” in production in Singapore, helping it move closer to achieving price parity with traditional meat.

December 2023: “It’s a massive challenge” – Good Meat’s Josh Tetrick on scaling up production of lab-grown meat

Last June, Good Meat’s products were also cleared for sale by the US Department of Agriculture (USDA), alongside another local peer, Upside Foods.  

That same year, Eat Just also secured a new sum of funding from the non-profit group Ahimsa Foundation. The money was to be used to “continue improving the quality and profitability of its products”.

At the time, CEO Josh Tetrick said: “Our work is not easy and not certain but it’s what is required”.