Insect meal producer Protix attracts over US$18m in funding


The existing shareholders Aqua-Spark, Rabo Corporate Investments and Brabrant Development Company (BOM) took part in the last round, and the Dutch investment agency Invest-NL has provided capital of EUR 7.5 million as a new investor.

“With this funding round, Protix can further optimize production capacity and accelerate international expansion,” said the company, which breeds larvae from the Black Soldier Fly (BSF) and processes them into ingredients such as proteins and lipids for use in animal feed.

Protix factory in the Netherlands © Kraaijvanger Architects

Kees Aarts, founder and CEO of Protix, told us in March 2020 about the first staging posts for this international rollout: “We want to expand outside of the Netherlands – in Europe and in North America – and we are also considering our technology to investors in Asia and South America to forgive. “

In 2019 Protix opened his insect factoryIn Bergen op Zoom in the Netherlands, a massive, automated production facility for insect breeding on an industrial scale. Around EUR 40 million was invested in this plant, and within months of opening this plant, Protix attracted Rabo Corporate Investments as a shareholder.

EU insect regulation If you

In November last year we reported on how legislative work on the approval of insect proteins for use in poultry and pig feed was intensifying in Europe.

A virtual workshop took place this month, organized by the Brussels-based industry group, the International Platform on Insects for Food and Feed (IPIFF). This was heard from spokespersons for the European Commission, in particular Sabine Juelicher, Directorate General for Health and Food Safety.

She said the Commission had set out how to make the transition to a greener food system under the EU Green Deal that offers social security and economic sustainability.

“We recognize the role insect farming can play in the farm-to-fork strategy to make our food systems more sustainable,” she commented.

She said the Commission is working “intensely” with Member States to allow insect protein for use in poultry and pig feed. “It’s part of a larger, complex package. Still, we see many opportunities to open up the insect protein market. “

The Commission also supports the idea of ​​encouraging the development of additional feed for insects.

Juelicher said, however, sustainability cannot surpass safety in this area.

As a first step, EFSA opinions would be needed to identify the inherent risk of using past foods containing meat or fish, for example, as new substrate sources that IPIFF members have proposed as a way forward. “Under no circumstances can we endanger human or animal health.”