South Africa based AgriProtein produces a substitute for fishmeal in agriculture and aquaculture feeds with protein derived from black soldier fly larvae, but it also licenses out its technology to international players.
The licenses cover the set-up and operation of the black soldier fly factories; the company said the technology required to separate organic from non-organic waste used to feed the flies and their larvae is also included.
AgriProtein has also just won an award - AUD $450K - from the Australian government-backed Blue Economy Challenge 2016 for its technology. And, late last month, we reported on the USD$17.5m the company had raised from investors to fund its expansion strategy for Europe, South America and Asia.
We caught up with company co-founder, Jason Drew, to hear more about the operation of those 20 production sites.
FeedNavigator: What will be the total output of those 20 factories and when will they be up and running?
Jason Drew: That is some way in the future - but each is capable of producing well over 5,000 tons of [insect protein] MagMeal per annum.
The output depends on the waste we are sourcing and allowed to include locally and the local product specifications including moisture content. So, together, the [20 factories] would represent well over 100,000 tons per annum [in terms of output].
Together, they will also process up to 2m tons of organic waste that will not go to landfill once they are built.
FeedNavigator: What organic waste sources are allowed to be used in insect rearing in Australasia?
Jason Drew: There is no specific legislation in Australia at the moment.
FeedNavigator: Where exactly will those factories be located?
Jason Drew: [They will] always [be located] near waste sources - that invariably means larger cities and their waste producers.
FeedNavigator: What is the regulatory status regarding the use of insect protein in aquaculture and other sectors in Australasia?
Jason Drew: This, as in other regions, needs to be developed with the relevant regulatory agencies. This is happening in individual states in the US and also in the EU. We look forward to working with the relevant bodies in the region to develop local guidelines for this new and important industry.
FeedNavigator: What are the responsibilities of AgriProtein and Twynam Group under this factory roll-out?
Jason Drew: The Twynam Group will develop and operate the plants, while AgriProtein will supply its technical know-how and IP to enable the technical start up.