100 fly-farms set to tackle waste problems

The fly farms to be operated by local licensees of AgriProtein technology in Asia, the Americas, Europe and Middle East.

Waste-to-nutrient company AgriProtein has partnered with international engineering group Christof Industries to build up to 25 fly farms a year up-cycling organic waste into insect protein for animal feeds, the company announced. Using a high-tech blueprint developed with Christof Industries, AgriProtein plans to roll out 100 factories by 2024 and a further 100 by 2027 (200 in total). The USD 10 million partnership will help bring insect protein into the mainstream of feeds used in aquaculture, poultry farming and petfood, according to the company. Fishmeal production is considered destructive to the environment and insect protein a more sustainable alternative. AgriProtein rears fly larvae at an industrial scale on organic waste and harvests the larvae to make natural, high-protein feed products.

Fly“Organic waste accounts for nearly half of all solid municipal waste. Disposing of it to landfill is a costly environmental hazard, which is why countries are setting reduction targets or banning it altogether. A fly farm located close to a city absorbs the weight of a typical cruise ship in organic waste per year to rear fly larvae, reducing the volume, pollution and cost of landfill,” said CEO Jason Drew. “Waste-to-nutrient technology is starting to get traction and price per tonne is key in the fight to replace fishmeal. Christof’s expertise has enabled us to boost output and reduce costs, making us even more competitive and giving us a sound model for rapid global expansion.”

Christof Industries will deliver the factories on a turnkey basis as AgriProtein’s Engineering, Procurement & Construction (EPC) partner. The fly farms will be operated by local licensees of AgriProtein technology in Asia, the Middle East, Europe and the Americas. The contract follows Christof Industries’ industrialisation of AgriProtein’s existing plant in Cape Town, in which it enhanced existing automation to more than double waste-processing capability. The fly farms being rolled out will up-cycle up to 91,000 tonnes of organic waste a year to produce up to 7,000 tonnes of insect meal and oil.

“We now have an EPC model to deliver cost-efficient, high-volume fly farms anywhere in the world. The demand for sustainable insect protein is growing rapidly and as AgriProtein’s partner we will help meet that demand,” said CEO Johann Christof.

“Replacing fishmeal with insect meal in animal feed allows the oceans to heal and reduces greenhouse gases at every stage of the chain from point-of-catch to point-of-sale. It also helps solve the food security challenge and tackle the waste crisis. But we need to move quickly, because the world is running out of fish. With increasing consumer demand for fish and poultry, the FAO has predicted demand for fishmeal will outpace supply by 5 million tonnes by 2024,” Drew added.

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