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Progress for Protenga Q2 2023

The increasing use of our products across markets and applications inspires us to push the boundaries of sustainability on our journey of Making Insects Work for a circular food system.

We're thankful to you, our customers and partners for your continuous support and we are really looking forward to being able to deliver more products and onboard new customers soon.

Leading Insect Technology - To build a reliable supply infrastructure for circular and high-quality insect-based ingredients for you, we believe insect farming needs to become much more accessible, simple and reliable than it has been in the past; that’s why we have embarked on a mission to develop the Smart Insect Farm blueprint and deploy 100 Smart Insect Farms by 2030.

The engineering works for our next Smart Insect Farm deployment, which follows our 2nd generation blueprint, is well under way (and we will keep you updated on its development progress). Next to producing well over 2,000 tons of insect products per year, we are also pursuing ambitious productivity and efficiency targets by implementing our 2nd gen automation, robotics and technology advances, combining productivity and sustainability. For example, we are looking at achieving a dry protein production of more than 200kg per sqm per year (compared to ~31 kg per sqm per year dry weight for intensive broiler poultry production) enabled by our efficient automated vertical farming system and a real-time traceability that will enable unparalleled, on-line carbon footprint measurement to support our customer’s Scope 3 Emission information reliably.

Moreover, we have already signed MOUs to build more Smart Insect Farms in 2024 and 2025 through partnerships with several more in the pipeline. This means we're relentlessly working to make more sustainable insect products available for you!

Impactful Insect Products - Working with you, we are also proud of the value and impact that our insect-based nutrition products are delivering across multiple applications - already today and even more moving forward.

For example, together with you, we have been making strides in enabling a marine-free aquaculture fish production and pioneering sustainable product development with Hermet Protein. Currently, about 20% of fish caught globally is used to produce fishmeal and fish oil that is mostly used as a feed ingredient to feed fish and shrimp in aquaculture. Feed is the biggest sustainability challenge for the growth of aquaculture (both in carbon footprint but also in other footprint dimensions like overfishing, ecosystem destruction and deforestation). Insects are a more sustainable and yet highly-performing, natural and digestible nutrient source that doesn’t cost overfishing our oceans and also doesn’t depend on increasing climate events like the upcoming El Niño. We are thrilled that the use of insects in enabling marine-free aquaculture is not a distant promise anymore, but that we have been able to partner with leaders in the field to start realising and delivering on this critical opportunity.

Another area of impact that has emerged through collaborations in the past few months is the use of our insect oil as a feedstock in the production of sustainable aviation fuels and biodiesels. The fatty acid profile of our industrial-grade insect-oil product line has been shown to have beneficial effects for inclusion in biofuels particularly in cold environments and enables a raw material supply source that does not compete with human consumption. It enables fossil-fuel reduced mobility, transportation and processing with reduced overall environmental footprint (also compared to other non-circular bio-oils).

In other news - While most of the team has been heads-down and focused on our roadmap execution, it’s of course also important to continue raising awareness and build new partnerships.

  • We are proud to share with you that we were finalists at the Singapore-Japan Fast Track Pitch Event. This platform allowed us to showcase our innovative insect breeding technology, that enables cost-effective and reliable reproduction of the Black Soldier Fly to produce seedling larvae (reach out if you want to learn more or ask us if you want to try BSF Omelette! 😉 We have plenty of insect eggs!). The multiplication/reproduction is an often overlooked aspect, but actually a surprisingly significant cost factor in the production of insect protein (and also a major contributor to its sustainability in its closed-loop nature vs fishmeal, where the reproduction cost is externalised to nature and the resulting ecosystem destruction not being paid for by anyone - except future generations of course). We were also able to connect with potential partners and investors who share our vision for a more sustainable future.

  • Earlier this year, we had the opportunity to present at Starch Value Chain Asia 2023, exploring the potential of insect farming for the starch processing industry. Starch and its primary source, cassava, play a crucial role in various industries, but its processing also produces significant byproduct and residues streams that have a potential as substrates for our insect farming, providing yet another avenue for our Smart Insect Farm to contribute to a circular economy in the future (FAO has a great resource on Cassava byproducts, if you want to learn more here; or contact us 🙂).

  • In May, we had the opportunity to speak on a panel about sustainable aquaculture at the Food 4 Future congress in Bilbao, one of the leading events for the European Food- & Agri-tech industry. Fun fact from the panel: It takes a whooping 18 years to produce organic-certified, natural caviar, as Ignacio from Caviar de Riofrio, the first organically certified caviar producer in the world, shared in his fascinating talk. Compare that with the 8 days that it takes to produce our insect protein; or 40 days if you’re into BSF eggs/caviar! But then, our insect protein also doesn’t cost 2,000 EUR per KG! As part of the Food 4 Future event, we were also extremely proud to be awarded as one of the top 3 solutions for the Automation and Robotics Innovation Award 2023; even more an honour as we received this recognition at a stunning gala in the main foyer of the Guggenheim Museum in Bilbao! We really like to thank Irune Berrio for the invitation and this incredible opportunity.

That’s a wrap for now. We look forward to be in touch individually as well as we continue to progress in the coming few months towards key milestones like opening our next facilities.

We're committed to making a difference in the world through Making Insects Work for You, and we couldn't do it without you.

Once again, thank you for being an essential part of our journey. Stay tuned for more exciting updates!


The Protenga Team

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