Beyond Meat has signed a deal which will see the company bring the production of its plant-based meat products to the Chinese market.

The company, through its wholly-owned subsidiary Beyond Meat Food, has signed an agreement with Jiaxing Economic & Technological Development Zone (JXEDZ) to design and develop manufacturing facilities in the region.

The deal includes a ‘state-of-the-art’ production facility – which will be located near the business hub of Shanghai –  to manufacture plant-based meat products including beef, pork and chicken under the Beyond Meat brand in China.

Beyond Meat says it will be the first multinational company focused solely on plant-based meat production to bring its own major production facility into China.

The agreement builds on Beyond Meat’s existing deals within the China market – such as its partnerships with fast-food restaurant operator Yum China and Starbucks – as the company claims the country will be one of its most important markets in the world.

“China is one of the world’s largest markets for animal-based meat products, and potentially for plant-based meat,” said Ethan Brown, CEO and founder of Beyond Meat.

He added: “We are delighted and confident that after several months of productive and collaborative discussions, we will partner with the JXEDZ to develop two production facilities, including one of the world’s largest and technologically advanced plant-based meat factories.”

Candy Chan, general manager for Beyond Meat in China, added: “With its expertise in the food industry, proximity to Shanghai, and excellent logistics and people capabilities, the JXEDZ will be the perfect partner and location for our ambitious plans for the China market.” 

Trial production is expected to begin within months, with full scale production in early 2021.