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Big Ag Seeks Portion of Soaring Fake-meat Industry

Bunge Ltd, one the world’s most prominent grain merchants, recently revealed the 1.6% stake it had bought in the fast-rising fake-meat startup Past Meat.

The play looked good after the stock surged over 250% since the fake meat burger and sausage maker’s initial public offering in May. Certainly, Beyond Meat’s market capitalization of $9.9 billion is now bigger than Bunge’s, a 201-year-old agency with 31,000 employees.

No wonder many top agricultural companies want to seize their cut of the booming market for plant-based faux meat. Bunge’s investment is one instance of how grain traders and seed firms try to capitalize on a market that now accounts for 5% of U.S. meat purchases – a share expected to triple over a decade, according to investment administration agency Bernstein. That growth would reflect the fast ramp-up of milk substitutes constructed from crops such as almonds.

ADM and privately-held grain merchant Cargill are selling processed peas and soy proteins to consumer meals companies and restaurants that use them to make vegetable burgers, sausages, fish substitutes, and different faux-meat products. They’re further moving into the business by way of acquisitions and partnerships or by leveraging their labs and research capabilities to help make new plant-based food products for clients including food and beverage makers.

Seed company Corteva – which split in June after a merger of Dow Chemical and Dupont – is studying potential vegetable seed offerings.

Demand for meat alternatives has risen as consumers add plant-based protein to their diets for health reasons and out of care for animal welfare and environmental damage from livestock farming.

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Arthur Siegrist

Arthur has nearly a decade of media experience. Before joining FBI Market News, he ran content operations of several local news journals. He also vast experience stock market, corporate communications, public relations, and digital marketing. Arthur holds a commerce degree from the University of Oakland and a post-graduate degree in English from NYU.

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