special edition: feed sustainability

AgriProtein seeks to extend its global footprint with US facility

By Aerin Einstein-Curtis contact

- Last updated on GMT

© GettyImages/WebSubstance
© GettyImages/WebSubstance

Related tags: Insect meal, black soldier fly, Aquaculture, Poultry

Global expansion efforts for AgriProtein look to bring commercial-scale insect production and an alternative use for organic waste to California.

The industrial-scale black soldier fly (BSF) production company’s international expansion is adding a new insect production facility. located in California, which will be operational from next year – it already has an office established in the state.

The company's production system provides protein and oil ingredients for animal feed use by “upcycling”​ food or organic waste.

Jason Drew, co-founder and CEO with AgriProtein, told us.

“We are currently rolling out our G-series factories in a number of locations from California in the US, to the Netherlands in Europe as well as in Asia​. We expect that our first US and EU G-series factories will be operational in early 2021.

“We now have over 200 employees in 11 countries.”

The project was one of several initially announced in 2017​. Actual realization of those plans took a while.

In any roll-out program there is a large amount of detailed activity required, from early-stage planning for a site, through to adapting our designs to local environmental conditions,” ​Drew said. “We then need to select local contractors to work with our engineering and design teams based in Singapore and Bangalore to deliver a localized factory.”

Farming bugs in California

California is taking steps to address environmental challenges and is working to reduce the tonnage of organic waste sent to the landfill, said Drew.

The intention with the new facility, which is located in Jurupa Valley, is to produce protein from waste in close relation to where that waste is generated, he said.

“When selecting a site, we assess the waste profile: where it is generated and how it moves from there to landfills or sites where it can be repurposed. Waste is expensive to move financially and environmentally and so we locate ourselves as close to where it is generated as possible.”

The company also looks for local markets for its three products – MagMeal, MagOil and MagSoil.

“Our products are mainly used in local agriculture and aquaculture and in some countries to make pet food,”​ he added.

The insect-based protein meal has been tested in feeds for young poultry, fingerling fish and in shrimp. The oil ingredient is used in feeds for layer chickens and swine, in fish feed pellets and pet food.

When completed, the G-series facility is anticipated to be able to upcycle about 90,000 tons of organic waste annually, the company reported. The location is also set to generate about 4,000 tons of protein meal, 3,500 tons of oil and 16,500 tons of its fertilizer product.

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