Ÿnsect set to expand internationally, building new factories in the US and Mexico

By Jane Byrne

- Last updated on GMT

Ÿnsect’s production facility in Dole, France @ Ÿnsect
Ÿnsect’s production facility in Dole, France @ Ÿnsect

Related tags Ÿnsect mealworm Ardent Mills Mexico CO2 emissions

Ÿnsect has inked two major agreements for new facility builds: one in the US with Ardent Mills and another in Mexico with Corporativo Kosmos, a food service business.

The company said these deals come as its flagship facility in Amiens, in France, enters the commissioning phase.

Ÿnsect says it is focusing its developments within the heart of agricultural areas to increase easy access to raw materials used to feed the insects, such as agricultural co-products from the cereal industry. It is doing so to limit the impact of its activity on the environment, including CO2 emissions and water consumption.

It will explore synergies with Ardent Mills, a leading supplier of wheat flour in North America, with the aim of starting the construction of a new site in 2023. “This marks the beginning of potential exciting collaborations between two key players in the global food industry,”​ commented Antoine Hubert, CEO and co-founder of Ÿnsect.

This agreement follows the French company’s acquisition of Jord Producers, the group’s first farm on US soil, in Nebraska in March 2022. Since then, Ynsect has filed with AAFCO for market approval for its flagship protein concentrate for the pet food market. 

Mexican deal

Ÿnsect and Corporativo Kosmos will jointly establish and operate an insect farm in Mexico, with construction also scheduled to start before the end of 2023.

This agreement marks the culmination of a year-long collaboration between the two entities. Mexico is the leading country in the world in terms of human consumption of insects and insect-based proteins, said the producer. Furthermore, the insect farm would offer proximity to the US, by far the largest future market for insect protein.

Each partner brings unique capabilities to the joint development. Corporativo Kosmos has extensive experience in sourcing and securing feedstock for its food business, but also expertise in construction and logistics, and key knowledge of doing business in Mexico, while Ÿnsect brings its insect protein technology, extensive patents, R&D, and customer relationships in North America, to the table.

French factory 

Ÿnsect’s new vertical farm in Amiens will begin operations, in a phased manner, over the next few months. It will eventually produce up to 200,000 tons of ingredients per year. 

Founded in 2011, Ÿnsect raises Buffalo and Molitor mealworms in automated vertical farms, with products targeted at animal production, consumers, and plants. It currently has two production sites, one in Dole, France, which was commissioned in 2016, and one in the Netherlands, as well as a hatchery in Omaha, Nebraska. The company, which employs 360 people, has raised around $450m to date from investment funds, banks and public entities.

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