Sector News

Insect potential: InnovaFeed and Tereos form partnership for feed production in France

October 2, 2018
Food & Drink

Biotech company InnovaFeed, is extending its roots in the Hauts-de-France region and will base its next insect protein production unit in Nesle, as part of a new project in partnership with Tereos. InnovaFeed, who markets a new source of proteins derived from the breeding of insects, will locate its next production plant in Nesle (department of Somme).

The partnership with Tereos, which is a world first regarding its ambition and its scope, will locally process the starch facility’s co-products as basic feed for breeding insects, according to the company. The principal aim of this partnership in Nesle is to create

The partnership meets the growing requirements of the animal feed sector and is contributing to developing a high-quality fish farming offer, at a time when world-wide protein requirements are expected to double between now and 2050.

InnovaFeed has developed an insect breeding model that enables the short-loop processing of agricultural food co-products into feed for insects. These insects, i.e., flies that are endemic in Europe and do not carry disease, are not invasive, and are identified as risk-free by the European Commission, are a source of protein with a high nutritional value intended for feeding farmed fish.

According to Clément Ray, the Chairman and Co-founder of InnovaFeed, “The emergence of this new source of protein naturally corresponds to the needs of fish farming, and makes a direct contribution to developing high-quality aquaculture with a low environmental impact.”

As part of the same ethical approach, the organic waste generated by the insects will be used as a natural enhancement for the local organic farming industry. This is a production system that creates significant value and does not generate any waste.

Speaking to FoodIngredientsFirst, Maye Walraven, InnovaFeed explains: “Through this partnership with Tereos, InnovaFeed hopes to create the most economically and environmentally performant insect protein production model in the world. The capacity of this new production site will enable insect protein to address the needs of markets where large volumes availability is a barrier to entry.”

InnovaFeed is not currently positioned on food applications, according to Walraven.

“The North of France is the region that generates the most agricultural by-products in Europe. Our insect rearing and production process uses these by-products, it is, therefore, a very strategic location for InnovaFeed. We have also benefitted from the support of local authorities which have been very helpful in accelerating our development,” she explains.

The legislation change at the European level opened up the market for aquaculture – this will be InnovaFeed’s main focus for the years to come but the company is also exploring feed applications for other farming sectors.

“The demand for quality protein for fish feed is growing by 10 percent per year and estimated to achieve 125-150 MT by 2030. Opportunities for expansion across different geographies in the upcoming years are huge (Africa, Asia, the Americas). We are also exploring various applications for insect protein beyond aquaculture (feed and food) and conducting research on various properties of insect-derived products to develop these future applications,” she notes.

InnovaFeed, based in the Hauts-de-France region which is strategic in terms of its development, has an initial pilot production plant in Gouzeaucourt (near Cambrai) that has enabled it to check its model. Buoyed up by this success, InnovaFeed is now announcing the construction of a new facility with ten times the capacity.

The opening of this new facility will result in the creation by InnovaFeed of over 110 direct jobs at the Nesle site, including positions as operators, technicians, and engineers. This installation is supported by a large number of players, including Government Departments, the Hauts-de-France region, the department of Somme, and the Eastern Somme Combined District Council. The facility is scheduled to begin operating in the last quarter of 2019. The operation of this unit will specifically enable the avoidance of 25,000 tons of CO2 per year.

InnovaFeed’s next production unit will be located right next to the Tereos starch facility in Nesle, which is on an industrial site that is currently owned by Tereos and does not involve any farmland.

“The emergence of this collaboration is based on the convergence of our expertise and ambitions for the future. In the case of Tereos – a major player on the world-wide plant-based protein market, and at the initiative of the Protéines France (French Protein) Association – this facility reflects its status as a preferred partner for the development of innovative outlets that create value,” says Yves Belegaud, Chief Executive Officer Europe, for the Tereos Group.

The industrial integration process set up by the two companies also aims to be a symbolic example of industrial symbiosis. In the case of InnovaFeed, this partnership secures the plant resources required to develop its business activities, thanks to a formula developed jointly with Tereos’ expertise, and enables it to gain access to the utilities that have already been installed on the industrial platform. By designing this short loop procurement and recovery system, InnovaFeed and Tereos are contributing to optimizing the use of natural resources, with a strong positive impact on climate change.

By Elizabeth Green

Source: Food Ingredients First

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