InnovaFeed has already been providing insect meal for feed used for trout sold by French chain Auchan. Photo: Auchan.

Cargill strikes marketing deal with insect farmer InnovaFeed

Aquafeed producer Cargill has entered into a strategic partnership with French insect farmer InnovaFeed to bring fish farmers “sustainable and innovative feed options”.

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US-headquartered Cargill and France-based InnovaFeed will collaborate to jointly market fish feed which includes insect protein, the companies said in a press release today.

“We recognize that the planet has finite resources,” said Pilar Cruz, president of Cargill’s compound feed business. “It is our job to find innovative feed options for our customers that protect the planet and support sustainable protein production.”

InnovaFeed uses co-products from the agriculture production of starch and sugar to feed black soldier fly larvae. Once the larvae reach a certain stage, protein and oil are extracted from them. The remainder of the larvae can be turned into an organic fertiliser.

Over the past three years, InnovaFeed has led multiple trials which is said demonstrated that its insect protein can be an effective alternative to fishmeal used in salmon or shrimp feed with equal or improved performance.

Maye Walraven: Customers looking for sustainable products.

Strong acceptance

“We’ve seen a strong acceptance of our products by consumers looking for natural and sustainable products,” said Maye Walraven, head of business development for InnovaFeed.

Supermarket chain Auchan began selling its own-label insect-fed trout in 52 stores in northern France in December last year and aims to have the fish in all 641 retail sites in the country by the end of 2019.

InnovaFeed last year announced it had raised €55 million in funding from international investors to deploy its production model at a large scale, including international expansion by the end of 2022.

It plans to invest in five new production sites by 2020.

10,000 tonnes

In September InnovaFeed announced that its next insect production unit would be in Nesle, in the Somme department of France, as part of a partnership with co-operative, Tereos, that would bring its production capacity up to 10,000 tonnes of protein per year.

It will use co-products from the Tereos starch facility there to feed black soldier flies.

Cargill and InnovaFeed’s announcement came hard on the heels of news earlier this month that aquafeed manufacturer Skretting had signed a deal with Dutch black soldier fly farmer Protix that could see up to 5.5 million salmon servings per year brought to market with insect meal incorporated into the feed.

It was also announced this month that French mealworm grower Ÿnsect is to lead the construction of a plant that could eventually produce 200,000 tonnes of insect protein a year.