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Business & Economy

Darlington meat substitute firm MYCO appoints new boss to drive jobs boom

A sustainable food maker has appointed a new chief executive as it plots to create almost 70 jobs over the next three years.

Darlington-based MYCO – the brains behind meat substitute Hooba – is ramping up production of its plant-based protein at a North Yorkshire site.

And heading up the anticipated boom period is new boss David Wood, who has led senior management teams and worked at several respected food firms, including Biscuits International, Northumbrian Fine Foods and VBites.

In his new role, he will oversee the launch of MYCO’s new sustainable food strategy at a pioneering 20,000sq ft site in Leeming Bar, off the A1(M), near Bedale.

Known as a vertically farmed production unit, the company says it represents a UK first.

He said: “I’m thrilled to be joining MYCO, especially at such an exciting time.

“This company has huge potential, and extraordinary work is being done every day to make a new generation of mouth-watering and sustainable plant-based products that make swapping out meat that bit easier for consumers.

“I was blown away by the vision and ethos at MYCO, and I couldn’t be more excited about the future and where the company is headed.”

John Shepherd, MYCO co-founder and chair, added: “This is an exciting time, and we know David is the right person to help us grow the business.

“His track record speaks for itself, and with decades of experience in the food sector – including sustainable food producers – he’s a perfect fit for what is a key role for MYCO.

“We are all delighted he’s joined the business, and we can’t wait to see just how far we go in 2024.”

MYCO uses AI technology to take care of the planting, growing and harvesting of its meat substitute Hooba. The system, developed by Teesside University, is housed in a sealed environment where data can be monitored to ensure optimal growth conditions.