Salmon Group scraps plans for grasshopper feed produced by startup Metapod

Bergen, Norway-based Salmon Group has announced it has scrapped its deal with Metapod to develop a locally-produced protein source featuring insects.

Under the original agreement, Metapod was going to produce insect flour from grasshoppers and crickets, to be used in the Salmon Group’s network of salmon and trout farms. The process was also going to use refined food waste, with an overall goal – Salmon Group said when the deal was announced last year – of reducing the company’s carbon footprint.

However, that original deal was terminated after Metapod told Salmon Group it couldn’t meet the conditions of the agreement.

“This was informed of in a meeting this week where Salmon Group requested a briefing on the status of the project,” Salmon Group said. “The industrial volume on which the agreement is based cannot be realized.”

The original plan was to introduce insect flour from grasshoppers as an ingredient in Salmon Group’s feed, Metapod Founder and CEO Frederick Darien said last June. However, Salmon Group said that that original project did not succeed because the company could not provide the industrial volume needed.

“Salmon Group truly believed in this investment and we are of course first and foremost sorry that the project did not succeed and that we cannot take use of this raw material now,” Salmon Group CEO Jan Olav Langeland said in a release.  “We continue to work with alternative raw materials that will further contribute to sustainable production of salmon and trout.”

When contacted for further details by newspaper Dagens Næringsliv, Metapod declined to comment.

In June 2020, soon after the project was announced, also reported that Metapod would not be able to produce any grasshopper feed for Salmon Group, citing European Union legislation. E.U. rules have not approved the production of fish feed from grasshoppers – only types of beetles, crickets, mealworms, and flies have been approved so far. Those regulations are also applied in Norway.

That means in order to use grasshoppers in feed, Metapod would need the insects to be added to the list of approved species – something that hasn’t happened yet.

Salmon Group said that it is “continuing the search for new, sustainable feed ingredients."

Photo courtesy of Metapod


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