Fly meal firm raises fur­ther fund­ing

Fish Farmer - - News -

FLY farmer and waste-to-nu­tri­ent pi­o­neer AgriProtein has raised a fur­ther $105 mil­lion in fund­ing, mark­ing a new high in in­vestor ap­petite for the in­sect pro­tein sec­tor.

The lat­est in­vest­ment, to­gether with ad­di­tional lo­cal project fi­nance for a se­ries of its al­ter­na­tive feed plants in Africa, the Mid­dle East and Asia, puts South African based AgriProtein on track to de­liver its am­bi­tious fac­tory roll-out plans.

Jason Drew, AgriProtein co-founder and CEO, said: ‘This is a sig­nif­i­cant vote of con­fi­dence in a growth in­dus­try pro­duc­ing a sus­tain­able pro­tein for use in an­i­mal di­ets.

‘It reaf­firms our po­si­tion as the lead­ing up-cy­cler of waste-to-pro­tein and brings us the fi­nan­cial re­sources for fur­ther global ex­pan­sion.’

The com­pany is build­ing a global busi­ness through its cir­cu­lar econ­omy strat­egy: up-cy­cling or­ganic waste to tackle food se­cu­rity and waste dis­posal chal­lenges, while help­ing con­serve wild fish stocks.

AgriProtein uses black sol­dier flies and their lar­vae to con­vert or­ganic food waste into a high pro­tein al­ter­na­tive to fish­meal suit­able for fish, poul­try, pigs and pet food.

Drew said: ‘We need to see waste dif­fer­ently – as a re­source – par­tic­u­larly food waste. A growing pop­u­la­tion, scarce wa­ter and land re­sources, and de­clin­ing nat­u­ral fish stocks make this more crit­i­cal than ever.’

AgriProtein has fly farm projects un­der devel­op­ment across the world to pro­duce its flag­ship prod­uct, MagMeal.

The com­pany has ex­panded its R&D ca­pa­bil­ity, hir­ing new staff and build­ing chem­istry and ge­net­ics labs. It has also hired se­nior staff from en­gi­neer­ing and waste man­age­ment back­grounds to in­crease its project roll-out ca­pac­ity.

The com­pany is fo­cus­ing ini­tially on the aquafeed mar­ket, where de­mand is in­creas­ing year on year to sat­isfy growing con­sumer ap­petites for farmed fish.

Worth more than $114 bil­lion in 2017, aquafeed is pre­dicted to grow by a fac­tor of 2.5 in just eight years to nearly $290 bil­lion in 2026.

‘There is sim­ply not enough ma­rine ma­te­rial left in the oceans to meet fish­meal de­mand in aquafeed, let alone in feed for poul­try, pigs and pets,’ said Drew. ‘Along with al­gae and bac­te­ria, new, dis­rup­tive sources of pro­tein like our own are needed to close the feed gap and, in the process, help re­pair the fu­ture of the planet.’

In Jan­uary 2018 AgriProtein was named a Global Clean­tech 100 com­pany for the sec­ond year.

Above: Jason Drew

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