ADM invests in the future of insect farming
Alternative proteins such as plant-based meat have generated significant interest from consumers in recent years as people look for new ways to feed their desire for plant-forward nutrition. However, alt proteins aren’t just for humans. With demand for high-quality animal feed continuing to grow, insect farming has come to the fore as a promising new solution that can offer a more diverse protein source for the agriculture, aquaculture, and pet industries.
That’s why ADM has announced its latest investment in Innovafeed, a world leader in producing premium insect ingredients for animal feed and pet food. InnovaFeed’s proprietary technology reproduces the natural lifecycle of the black soldier fly, or Hermetia Illucens, on an industrial scale in highly automated indoor farms utilizing a circular, zero-waste model. Yesterday, Innovafeed announced it has raised US$250 million in Series D funding. This round led by Qatar Investment Authority (QIA), also includes existing investors Creadev and Temasek, and new strategic and financial investors: global agribusiness leaders ADM and Cargill – both of which have strategic partnerships with Innovafeed – as well as Future French Champions, ABC Impact, IDIA Capital Investissement and Grow Forward.
The new funding builds on ADM’s existing partnership with Innovafeed, which includes collaborating on the construction and operation of the world’s largest insect protein production site in Decatur, Illinois. The facility will be located alongside ADM’s Decatur corn processing complex, with ADM supplying feedstocks, waste heat and more. ADM’s investment will help accelerate the deployment of this facility as well as allow Innovafeed to invest in new technology and R&D that supports the formulation of high-precision and high-performance ingredients for animal and plant nutrition.
Because insect-based protein can provide high-quality nutritional content with a low carbon footprint and land requirement, global demand is expected to surpass $100 billion within the next few years. That makes insect farming especially relevant for industries like pet solutions, as dog and cat owners increasingly seek out the same kind of sustainable, healthy products they eat themselves. This is why ADM has also partnered with Innovafeed to commercialize insect protein for pet food customers in North America, following recent US regulation allowing the use of black soldier fly in food for dogs.
The Innovafeed partnership is just one example of how ADM works with leading start-ups to accelerate innovation and expand the company’s value chain. Other recent announcements include ADM’s strategic partnership with start-up New Culture to scale up alternative dairy products and its investment in Bond Pet Foods, which creates meat proteins using precision fermentation for pet food applications.
“At a time when conservation of our natural resources and the preservation of our environment are becoming an absolute necessity, we are convinced that the insect industry is a key solution for our planet’s food production needs," said Clément Ray, Co-founder & CEO of Innovafeed. "The confidence demonstrated in us by our partners through a new round of fundraising confirms this. Their support will allow us to accelerate our deployment in service of an ever healthier, natural and sustainable food system.”
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