Cargill Inc. has made an investment into Memphis Meats, a company in the “clean meat” industry. The company has developed technology to grow meat from self-reproducing animal cells. Neither company disclosed the size of the investment, reports the Dow Jones News Service.

“This is another way to harvest meat,” said Sonya Roberts, head of growth ventures in the meat division at Cargill, one of the world’s biggest producers of beef and poultry. “For people who want a product from an animal welfare perspective, we want this to be there for them.”

Memphis on Wednesday said Cargill’s investment was part of $17 million in funding that also drew from Bill Gates, Richard Branson and venture-capital firms Draper Fisher Jurvetson and Atomico. The companies didn’t provide details on their individual investments.

Memphis Meats currently can make a pound of meat for less than $2,400, down from last year’s cost of $18,000. The company is in discussion with the FDA and USDA about regulating meat production by non-traditional means. Those government departments would need to determine that the cell-culturing process is safe before considering whether the products count as meat.

Source: Dow Jones via Pioneer Press