HydroNeo will promote Full Circle's insect-based shrimp feed to its clients in a “profit-sharing” arrangement.
The tie-up is aimed at further increasing shrimp farm profitability, animal welfare and sustainability, commented Fabian Reusch, MD of HydroNeo.
That Bangkok-based firm specializes in the shrimp industry; its IoT system is designed to continuously monitor water quality parameters, including dissolved oxygen, and pH; it provides real-time data and alerts through smartphone apps to notify users of any adverse conditions. The technology provider also identifies third-party products that it can bring to its customer base to increase productivity and profitability while decreasing the environmental impact of farming.
Full Circle is a Singapore registered company combining solid-state fermentation with black soldier fly (BSF) production, which, it maintains, enables it to generate higher protein yields, using less wastewater and less energy. The firm’s Black Boxes, 1,500 square meter IoT-enabled automated facilities, are designed to allow any farmer to run their own sustainable protein mini-factory. Full Circle monitors and constantly measures the process.
Felix Collins, founder and MD of the insect ingredient developer, said this alliance generates a new revenue stream for the two companies, in addition to allowing for the sharing of industry insights and technical knowledge.
“Performance data is the most important thing for us and HydroNeo has the capabilities to give us high-quality anonymized performance data, which is a difficult thing to do with farms in developing countries,” he told FeedNavigator.
And the partnership is not only focused on Thailand:
“HydroNeo already has pilots running in three other major shrimp farming countries and is ready to scale. We are happy for our products to follow HydroNeo wherever it goes, providing legislation is okay. We both see major opportunity in Thailand and foresee more than enough demand to occupy our time for now,” added Collins.
Price competitive production
In Full Circle’s protein production system, agricultural waste is combined with a BSF treatment and put through a precision fermentation procedure. After the bioprocessing, the raw material is dried, processed and packaged. Its black boxes can produce around 500 tons of BSF meal per month.
“There is no costly or energy-intensive protein-extraction and yield rates are significantly higher than those seen in conventional BSF farming.
“We're getting 20-25 kilos of protein [with our system] and we think we can push it even higher. So that allows us to be price competitive,” said Collins when we talked to him in July.
He told us then that Full Circle’s research team had been running tests on the impact on shrimp growth of a feed component based on its BSF technology. “We were doing kind of run-of-the-mill tests with Kasetsart University [in Bangkok] and we found that the growth of [Pacific White] shrimp fed 2% insect feed as an additive skyrocketed.”
The plan thereafter was to replicate those results in the field.
As well as securing backing from Norwegian investment company, Katapult VC, Full Circle has been supported by Asia Sustainability Angels, a group co-founded by Adam Sack, who is the chief investment officer for the IFC, part of the World Bank Group, and climate-tech investor, Mark Inkster.