USA – Tyson Foods, Inc., an international leader in the food industry, has made an additional investment in plant-based protein producer Beyond Meat.

Through Tyson’s venture capital fund, the company chose to participate in Beyond Meat’s most recent fundraising initiative, which is designed to generate additional capital to help the business continue to expand its product portfolio and distribution.

According to the company, its latest investment slightly increased its ownership stake in Beyond Meat from the 5% established a year ago.

The terms of the deal were not disclosed.

“Global demand for all protein remains high and we’re passionate about meeting that demand sustainably,” said Justin Whitmore, executive vice president corporate strategy and chief sustainability officer of Tyson Foods.

“Our investment in Beyond Meat provides another fantastic alternative for consumers as we strive to sustainably feed the world.”

Whitmore added, “This investment reinforces our focus on protein and enables us to support Beyond Meat’s efforts to produce new, leading edge products.

What we’re most excited about is that we can do all of this while continuing to provide the great tasting, high quality food that is the hallmark of our company.”

Beyond Meat also reported the latest fundraising round, which included the support of venture capital fund Cleveland Avenue, will be used to expand production, fund the company’s R&D commitment, and expand sales and distribution.

Tyson’s venture capital fund was launched in December 2016 and is focused on investing in promising entrepreneurial food businesses that are pioneering new products or technology.

According to a recent article published on the Wall Street Journal, U.S. retail-store sales of products using meat substitutes climbed 16% to US$700 million in 2016 and projects that meat substitutes, including frozen, refrigerated and shelf-stable products, will reach US$863 million in annual U.S. sales by 2021.