SOUTH AFRICA – AgriProtein, the world’s biggest fly-farmer and leading waste-to-nutrient up-cycler, has been named the BBC Food Chain Global Champion in its quest for new source of protein to feed the planet’s growing population.
The insect protein pioneer was awarded for its flagship product, which helps in securing the future of food while delivering significant environmental benefits.
The Food Chain Global Champion award is a new category for 2017, and BBC’s first-ever international food and farming award, which recognizes outstanding work that challenges established methods and practices to secure the future.
The company’s MagMeal brand is an animal feed ingredient made from fly larvae reared on food waste and offers a natural alternative to the world’s fish stocks, which are under threat, due to the use of fishmeal to feed rising demand of fish by humans.
“Insect protein is an idea whose time has come and we are now producing it at an industrial scale. This award is a vote of confidence in the waste-to-nutrient industry”, said AgriProtein co-founder and CEO, Jason Drew, at the announcement of the award winner.
“Trawling for fishmeal is one of the most destructive activities on the planet. Replacing it in animal feed is good news for the environment and means more of the world’s dwindling population of wild fish can be harvested sustainably for human consumption.
By using existing waste to rear fly larvae, we’re reducing the greenhouse gases and pollution caused by organic landfill,” he explained.
“The culture of food, the science, technology, politics and business associated with food are key concerns to our worldwide audience.
Our Global Champion Award highlights both the challenges and fascinating successes being created by individuals around the world”, said BBC World Service Sr. Commissioning Editor Steve Titherington.
“Insects are the protein of the future, so it’s great to see AgriProtein already doing it for animal feed. Raising flies on food waste is just brilliant, because nothing need go to waste anymore.
This so-called waste is feeding the animals that will feed the world,” said New York based chef, restaurateur and author Pierre Thiam.
The use of insect protein has caught on of late, with a number of investments and new product innovations experienced in the last one year, as changing consumer perceptions boost the utilization of these products in animal feed and human food products around the World.
Regulators are also taking note of the vast potential of insect proteins.
New EU regulations permit use of insect-based nutrients in aqua feed since July 2017, while other geographies already permit its wider use in agriculture and pet food.
AgriProtein has projects under development to produce MagMeal for the US$100 billion aqua feed market and ultimately for poultry, pigs and pet food.