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INSECTS FOR A SUSTAINABLE AQUACULTURE 2

Periodic Reporting for period 2 - IFASA 2 (INSECTS FOR A SUSTAINABLE AQUACULTURE 2)

Reporting period: 2019-08-01 to 2020-07-31

The consumption of fish protein is essential to the livelihood and well-being of billions of people worldwide, and aquaculture is a sustainable way to produce healthy fish while preserving wild fish stocks. With a 10% yearly growth over the past decade, aquaculture is one of the fastest growing sector in the food industry. Yet, sector’s expansion and sustainability are challenged by current fish feed limitations. Indeed, fishmeal and soybean meal are the two main ingredients in fish feed formulations and both hold challenges in terms of sustainability and nutritional value:
Fishmeal absorbs up to a third of wild caught fish, contributing to the depletion of fish stocks and its availability is limited due to fishing quotas with a direct impact on price (price rise from 500 euros per ton in 2004 to 1,500 euros per ton today );
Soybean meal contains anti-nutritional factors for most farmed fish and its use for aquaculture increases Europe’s protein deficit and dependency on raw material imports. Today, 80% of protein-rich crops used in Europe for animal feed, i.e. mostly soybean meal, are imported .

Fish feed manufacturers and fish farmers are seeking innovative ways to increase the nutritional value of their products while reducing the environmental impact of their supply chain. Insect protein stands out as one of the best solution to address this need and drive the development of sustainable aquaculture. Insect protein has demonstrated excellent nutritional performance with less pollutants than fishmeal (heavy metals, pesticides residues, PCBs, dioxins), restoring a natural diet for farmed fish that eat insects in the wild (e.g. salmon, trout, seabass). InnovaFeed’s insect protein is an alternative source of quality protein that will address the fish feed challenge and support the aquaculture sector’s growth.

InnovaFeed has optimized the zootechnical model of Hermetia illucens (European endemic fly species) to achieve maximum productivity and consistent quality of insect protein for aquaculture. Its sustainable short loop production model uses low-value plant resources as the main input and releases valuable by-products which are then re-introduced into the agro-industry. By fitting into a circular economic model, InnovaFeed’s activity is competitive and scalable.
With its feed ingredients derived from insects, InnovaFeed’s ambition is threefold:
1. To provide an environmentally-friendly, healthy and safe source of feed to boost the growth potential of aquaculture;
2. To recycle agricultural by-products through a circular economy model and improve the European commercial balance.
3. To translate an ecological revolution into a lever of growth and job creation in Europe.
During the IFASA 2 Project InnovaFeed has designed, engineered and built an industrial site with a capacity of 3,000 tons. Commissioning is currently in progress for an operation start in October 2020. The scale-up of our industrial site in Nesle will allow for a full capacity of 10,000 tons. Construction plans for the scale-up are already secured. We will leverage the experience of IFASA 2 project in order to continue industrial deployments.

We also performed strong breeding process optimization in our operating tranche in Gouzeaucourt. It allowed InnovaFeed to improve and optimize industrial processes for next production tranches.
InnovaFeed managed to raise 55 M€+ in 2018 and is currently closing a new fundraising ; this will speed up the development of InnovaFeed in the next wave of plant production in France, Europe and will initiate our deployment in the US.
Finally, we strengthened important commercial partnerships on our products. We announced a strategic partnership with Cargill and also secured strong commercial partnership with Italpollina.
The end of the project is concomitant with the end of the plant’s construction. The plant will be able to deliver 3,000 tons in its current state and 10,000 tons of proteins per year after full scale-up; it will provide jobs for 110 people on site and will create significant value locally. InnovaFeed is also pursuing several leads in terms of R&D to enhance further developments, improve competitiveness and build the future of the European insect industry.