A vegan dairy production plant is coming to the United Arab Emirates.
The Silicon Valley-based food tech firm Change Foods announced Thursday an agreement with the Khalifa Economic Zones Abu Dhabi to build an animal-free dairy plant in the emirate, according to a press release.
UAE Trade Minister Thani Al Zeyoudi said in a tweet that the project “will help meet a large percentage of local demand.”
What it means: Change Foods produces cheese via microbes instead of milk from cows.
Why it matters: There is a growing demand for plant-based alternatives to meat and dairy products around the world due to ethical and environmental concerns surrounding meat and dairy production.
As the UAE attracts more high-tech companies, the demand for vegan products could well rise due to their popularity among workers in the sector. The US tech hub Silicon Valley has a particularly high number of vegans, for example.
The UAE is making efforts to reduce its carbon footprint and many new green technology and renewable energy projects are cropping up there. Around a third of the economy is based on oil and gas.
Know more: Israel is considered to have the most vegans per capita in the world. In March, an Israeli startup held an exhibition of its 3D-printed and plant-based salmon technology.
Veganism is also growing in Istanbul.