AgriProtein to build 20 fly farms in North America

AgriProtein has announced it aims to build 20 fly farms in the U.S. and Canada to produce insect meal to the animal feed industry, including for use in aquaculture.

AgriProtein, founded in 2008 in South Africa, uses food waste to cultivate colonies of flies, converting the fly larvae into MagMeal, which is marketed for fish aquaculture and other products with agricultural uses. 

The company has put together a North America-based team “to develop its business locally and build an R&D capability,” it said. The team will be headed by Jon Duschinsky and will seek to identify locations for the plants and licensing partners for its operations on the continent.

"The U.S. is the world’s biggest consumer of protein and the world’s biggest producer of organic waste, a very important market for us,” Duschinsky said. “As AgriProtein is disrupting three industries – agriculture, aquaculture and animal feed – it’s natural we chose the world center of disruptive technologies to launch our North American campaign.”

The announcement came last month during the North America initiative at the World AgriTech Innovation Summit 2017 in San Francisco, California. The company has not yet named any of the specific locations factories will be located. 

"With supplies of fishmeal dwindling we’re moving as quickly as we can to bring insect protein into the mainstream of animal feed,” AgriProtein CEO Jason Drew said. “[In addition to] ensuring continued supply of protein in the years ahead, replacing fishmeal with insect meal allows our oceans to heal, reduces greenhouse gases at every stage of the supply chain from point-of-catch to point-of-sale and leaves more fish in the sea for humans.”

The planned North American factories are part of the company’s goal of building 100 fly farms by 2024 and 200 by 2027. Last month, the company signed an agreement to build three fly farms in Saudi Arabia, and it has also allocated several international licenses to use its technology in Asia, Australia and elsewhere in the Middle East, Drew said.

In February, AgriProtein announced a partnership with Austrian engineers Christof Industries to develop a blueprint so that it can build its factories anywhere in the on a turnkey basis at the rate of 25 per year.


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