South African insect meal producer plans to build 20 fly farms in US and Canada

By Jane Byrne contact

- Last updated on GMT

© agriprotein
© agriprotein
AgriProtein said it wants to bring insect protein into the mainstream of animal feeds in North America.

It is looking to build 20 fly farms in the US and Canada in pursuit of its global target of 100 fly farms by 2024 and 200 by 2027.

The South African company said it has now set up a dedicated North American team to develop its insect meal production business locally and build an R&D capability. Headed by Jon Duschinsky, the manufacturer will identify suitable locations and licensing partners for fly-farm operations in the US and Canada.

AgriProtein has allocated several international licenses to use its technology in Asia, Australasia and the Middle East. Last week the company signed an agreement to build three fly farms in Saudi Arabia.

In February, it announced a partnership with Austrian engineers Christof Industries enabling it to roll out its fly factory blueprint on a turnkey basis globally at the rate of 25 per year.

EIA approvals

Jason Drew, AgriProtein CEO, told FeedNavigator last month that the plan was to start construction of three plants simultaneously in Indonesia, Saudi Arabia and the US. “Planning work has already started - construction will commence once environmental impact assessment (EIA) approvals are granted, which we hope to have in early 2018”

Each factory will cost between $15 and $23m depending on the levels of automation and end user options, he said.

“The standard factory design model can be up scaled in units of 125 tons to handle the existing local waste available. The next size up would therefore be 375 and then 500 tons per day,”​ added Drew. 

AgriProtein, founded in 2008, said it is now able to up-cycle up to 91,000 tons of organic waste a year to produce up to 7,000 tons of insect meal and oil at its Cape Town site, due to recent automation and expansion work.

Drew said insect meal is already competitive as a protein replacement for fishmeal and available at a similar price point. “The challenge is availability. Hence the partnership with Christof Industries to roll out further factories and increase supply.”

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