The parties said, as a result, the deal is terminated.
Last June, Metapod, which is located in Ålesund in western Norway, said that it would be producing insect flour from grasshoppers and crickets to be used in feeds for the Bergen based group. When Salmon Group requested a briefing on the status of the project this week, it was told the industrial volumes on which the agreement is based cannot be achieved.
A spokesperson for Salmon Group confirmed the insect protein startup had production scale-up challenges.
Launched officially in 2018, Metapod is focused on technology for industrial production of crickets and grasshoppers. According to EU regulation, protein from crickets can be used in fish feed but not, as yet, protein from grasshoppers.
Salmon Group said it truly believed in this investment and was disappointed in how it had turned out. “We will continue to work with alternative raw materials that will further contribute to sustainable production of salmon and trout,” said Jan Olav Langeland, CEO, Salmon Group.
Salmon Group is the world's largest network of local, family-owned fish farming and aquaculture companies, with it representing 12% of the total production volume in Norway. The total production of salmon and trout in the network is 155 000 metric tons, while smolt output is 55 million. Its members purchase around 12% of all fish feed that is sold to salmon and trout farmers in Norway.
The cooperative works systematically on sustainability and fish welfare, and feed is an important key to success in both areas. It has been looking to reduce the carbon footprint of the fish feed it uses over the past few years, and, in that respect, it ended its sourcing of Brazilian soy in 2019 and engaged BioMar in August that year to produce a bespoke environment friendly feed formulation that included an algae derived DHA ingredient.
Metapod did not respond to our request for comment prior to publication.