Insect News & Other Interesting Reads (Feb 2023)
Post originally shared by Leo Wein, CEO & Founder of Protenga:
The Fish Site reports on Skretting to include more insects and algae in their shrimp feeds by including those ingredients in Skrettings shrimp formulations in Ecuador.
Protenga was invited to share about the potential of insect farming and its Smart Insect Farm at the 11th Starch Value Chain Asia conference in Bangkok earlier in Feb. Lots of potential for insect farming to add value to the Cassava industry and its by-products! Bringing insect proteins into the mainstream was also a topic at the Future of Protein Production Summit held virtually, where Protenga participated in an engaging panel discussion.
3 insect species are now allowed for sale on the European market; a German media outlet reports here (in German). There’s also a video of the facility of a German BSF farming company called MadebyMade
Videos from the 2022 event in BKK “towards sustainable aquafeed” are online now; Martin from Nutrition Technologies presented a session about insect protein.
Entocycle in the UK raises 5m EUR for development of neonate counter and farm tech (here)
Bühler Insect Technology publishing their perspective on efficiencies and cost reduction in insect farming in this news article / advertorial: “A look at insect production efficiency for a more affordable insect meal. How production costs and final insect meal prices can be reduced to allow a more rapid scale-up and wide use, especially in aquafeeds?” (Aquafeed.com)
Fertilisers made from human urine and faeces are ‘safe and productive’ to use in food production, say scientists as reported in FoodNavigator. It’s great to see this study coming from Germany / Switzerland as human urine & manure as I've mostly seen this topic in context of developing countries as if the relevance of the topic was limited to those geographies. This is also a very interesting study in the context of evaluating the safety of insect farming & bioconversion for human manure treatment & nutrient recovery. A few projects, mostly in Africa, have explored this so far (notably Sanergy), but regulation and sanitation infrastructure have been bottle necks (in addition to more research being required and most insect farming production models not being well-suited for mixed classes of feedstocks).
Other interesting news & reading
“2023 could be the best vintage ever to invest in foodtech and agtech!” says AFN in a recent article worth reading, including good reminders such as “For a technology or a product to be truly disruptive, there’s a general rule of thumb that it should be at least 10 times better or 10 times cheaper than what it’s trying to replace. We’re not there yet for any of the above categories.” and “They must also focus on return on capital employed (RCE), where margins will always be thinner. Without this focus on RCE and profitability, startups cannot run sustainable businesses, he say” ending on a positive note “The companies that have technologies and substance behind them will likely succeed at lower valuations.”
Interesting feature in The Times of 3 fast-growing UK agritech companies - …and it features our Seed Round lead investor Roslin Technologies! Congrats to the Ernst and the Roslin Tech team. Also interesting feature of IGS - which essentially does for vertical CEA farming of plants what we at Protenga do for the vertical CEA farming of insects with our Smart Insect Farm
The 5 largest ag-tech investments in 2022 - LanzaTech is fascinating.
Fascinating video about a Malaysian Airlines safety incident at Brisbane in 2018 that illustrates the potential serious impact that a set of cascading assumptions can have. While luckily not as serious in our applications, this is a good highlight of how important due procedure and execution thereof is.
Interesting interview with a German regenerative farmer that reflects the holistic ecosystem perspective to the food system that we also pursue at Protenga instead of a simplistic, commoditised view on singular aspects, such as carbon (in isolation).
A cool short narration of rock weathering and the interplay of physics, chemistry and importantly evolutionary biology that created the world climate that enabled us and that we know of today (Eion’s Substack)
First time I read of the large aquafeed producers taking a concerted stance against a major supplier fishery engaged in overfishing (reported here); also interesting that this reaction only came 2 years after MSC status was revoked (which in itself has been criticised as being a very industry-friendly certification or ‘blue’-washing)
Interesting read by TechCrunch+ Cost-effective IP strategies can lead to massive exit valuations.
If you were wondering: “What is a Weir?” here’s the answer.
Corporate action could return natural capital to ‘safe’ levels and still deliver ROI, says McKinsey (as reported by AFN; original McK report here). “Agriculture is the largest contributor to exceeding planetary boundaries, as currently understood”! Speaking of McKinsey… They also just announced lay off plans for 2,000 employees as Bloomberg reports, literally stating “Under a plan dubbed Project Magnolia, the management team is hoping the move will help preserve the compensation pool for its partners.”