UK food manufacturer Finnebrogue is teaming up with cell-meat company Ivy Farm Technologies to create one of the world’s first commercially available cultivated wagyu beef burgers.

Cells from Finnebrogue’s herd of wagyu cattle in County Down, Northern Ireland are being cultivated by Ivy Farm to produce the burgers, once the industry is given regulatory approval in the UK.

The process of creating the cultivated wagyu beef burger will involve taking cells from Finnebrogue’s herd and cultivating them in fermentation tanks at Ivy Farm’s 18,000 square feet facility in Oxford, England. The mince is grown and harvested from Ivy Farm’s pilot plant.

The cultivated wagyu will join Ivy Farm’s existing stable of nascent products, which includes British pork and Aberdeen Angus beef. Future products could include cultivated meat from Finnebrogue’s venison, according to the manufacturer.

Finnebrogue said it hopes the partnership will allow it to meet increasing demand for its wagyu products while reducing its carbon footprint.

Jago Pearson, chief strategy officer at Finnebrogue, said: “Our task is always to make food that is nutritious, delicious and sustainable for food-loving consumers up and down the land – and so we are excited to strike a partnership with Ivy Farm that will allow us to explore the future potential of cultivated meat.”

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Speaking about the partnership, Pearson added: “In time, we are excited to help realise the potential this may bring in producing sustainable food that can feed a growing global population.”

Ivy Farm CEO Rich Dillon said “appetite from consumers for sustainable and delicious meat has never been higher”.

He added: “This new collaboration with Finnebrogue showcases how cultivated meat can work with traditional farming, helping to reduce the pressure on producers to intensify operations to meet growing demand, while boosting consumer choice. Cultivated meat is sometimes called cellular agriculture. Ivy Farm grows cells from animals in large fermentation tanks in order to produce real meat that has a healthy, nutritional profile and a more sustainable greenhouse gas footprint.”

Last month, in what was described as a “watershed moment” for the industry, US companies Upside Foods and Good Meat announced they were to start selling cultivated chicken in the country following a four-year joint regulatory process by the US Department of Agriculture and the Food and Drug Administration.

In the last week, both companies have made their first sales of their cultivated chicken products in the US.

Uma Valeti, the CEO and founder of Upside Foods said: “It represents a giant leap towards a world where people no longer have to choose between the foods they love and a thriving planet.”

Finnebrogue has previously made moves outside of the conventional meat market, including in 2020 when the manufacturer invested £25m (then $32.49m) in its plant-based facility in County Down.