European Investment Bank loans Protix EUR 37 million for Poland-based plant; Veramaris updates greenhouse gas emission targets

EIB and Protix leadership teams.

SeafoodSource is closely following the sustainable seafood movement by compiling a regular round-up of sector updates about sustainability initiatives and certifications.

- Bergen op Zoom, Netherlands-based alternative aquafeed company Protix signed a financing agreement with the European Investment Bank (EIB) – the lending arm of the European Union – to support the construction of a production plant in Poland.

The EIB has issued Protix a loan of EUR 37 million (USD 40 million), backed by the InvestEU program. Protix, which raises black soldier flies (Hermetia illucens) for use in animal feed, is investigating various locations in Poland for the plant. 

“We are thrilled about this agreement with the EIB, not only for the opportunities it brings for further expansion but also as a resounding affirmation," Protix CFO Lynn de Proft said. "This support reinforces the fact that our industry is not just here to stay but is poised for significant growth. Following our expansion to the United States and now our ability to do the same in Poland, we are excited to accelerate our mission to bring the food system back in balance with nature. The confidence expressed by the EIB underscores our proven ability to execute, marking another significant stride in our journey as gamechangers in the protein industry."

Protix has developed a range of products made from black soldier fly larvae, including ProteinX, which is being used in hatchery and grower diets for salmon, trout, shrimp, and other fish. The company played a leading role in pushing for insect protein to be approved for use in aquaculture within the E.U. in 2017, following a protracted campaign by the International Platform of Insects for Food and Feed (IPIFF), which Protix co-founded. It now has plans for expansion in Europe and North America through the construction of new facilities, according to Protix CEO and Founder Kees Aarts.

InvestEU aims to allocate more than EUR 372 billion (USD 403 billion) in additional investment throughout the E.U. through 2027.

“Supporting innovative solutions is one of the priorities of the European Investment Bank, and we are pleased to start collaborating with Protix. This financing is supported by the InvestEU program and will enable the company to expand its activities and apply its technologies, which contribute to the sustainable development of solutions within the bioeconomy sector,” European Investment Bank Vice President Teresa Czerwińska said in a release. 

- Delft, Netherlands-based aquafeed manufacturer Veramaris has created updated greenhouse gas reduction targets to reduce emissions by 22.5 percent by 2030. Its new targets will lower emissions for all of its partners in its value chain, creating more sustainable products. 

The new target follows Veramaris registering a 27 percent lower carbon footprint in an updated Environmental Product Declaration, which it shared with its customers, the company said in a release. 

"We know how important it is for our customers to reduce the carbon footprint of the value chain, and we're pleased to be improving our climate commitments. We'll continue to take action as the demand for sustainably produced alternative ingredients in the aquafeed industry continues to surge,” Veramaris CEO Gertjan de Koning said.

The company previously committed to reducing its greenhouse gas emissions in 2022 by setting a target approved by the Science Based Target Initiative (SBTi).

"To best enable the sustainable growth of aquaculture, we're actively reducing emissions through tangible actions. From implementing more energy-efficient facilities to supporting regenerative agriculture practices in our corn sugar supply chain, every step we make is a deliberate move to cut our footprint,” Veramaris Production Facility General Manager Joanne Pedall said in a release.

- As a part of the Australian government’s commitment to fortifying monitoring control and surveillance (MSC) capacity in the Pacific Ocean, it has begun leading inspection training for officials in the Ocenanic country of Kiribati.

Australian Fisheries Management Authority (AFMA) officers have sent officers to the island of Kiritimai in Kiribati to complete the boarding and inspection training process, it said in a release.

Twenty-five participants, including fisheries observers and fisheries, customs, immigration, police, environment, and health officers, completed the training. 

Topics covered in the training included MSC capacity, combatting illegal, unreported, and unregulated (IUU) fishing, legislation, regional and sub-regional agreements, pre-boarding risk assessments, boarding executions, procedures, log sheet analysis, and catch quantification. 

The program was sponsored by the AFMA, which partnered with the New Zealand Ministry for Primary Industry (NZ MPI) and the Pacific Island Forum Fisheries Agency (FFA) to conduct the training. 

Photo courtesy of Protix


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