Dutch poultry chain players enter a public-private partnership to develop insects as a source of protein for broiler diets

NETHERLANDS—Netherlands based poultry chain companies, Protix, ForFarmers, Esbro, Venik and Wageningen Livestock Research will collaborate in a public-private partnership (PPP) aimed at developing insects as a source of protein for broiler diets.

Their joint effort is to investigate how insect ingredients from the black soldier fly in poultry feed affect sustainability, health and welfare parameters of slow-growing broiler chickens.

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By nature, insects are a favorable source of food for poultry. They present an opportunity to transform low-value organic byproducts into high-quality feed ingredients.

However, the partners say further information is needed on the benefits of such ingredients for birds and how their use can impact the sustainability of the entire poultry chain.

The research project will be conducted in three phases. A pilot study has just started aimed at studying the effects of different inclusion levels of BSF larvae-derived ingredients in poultry feed.

Based on the outcomes of this pilot, different broiler diets will be tested on large scale in chicken farms. In the third phase, BSF products in broiler diets in combination with other alternative regionally grown protein sources will be tested to study these effects.

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The Netherlands is an international market leader with a strong, innovative and highly productive agri-food sector. The partnership aims to contribute to reducing the reliance of EU livestock farming on proteins from third countries while simultaneously advancing circular agriculture.

Kees Aarts, founder and CEO of Protix said: “Today’s unprecedented times painfully reveal the urgency to restore the balance with nature. Sustainable ingredients play an important role in this.”

“This PPP enables us to do this jointly with some of the most renowned institutions in the insect and agricultural sector in Europe,” added Marcus Keitzer, board member of PHW Group and responsible for alternative proteins.

As the global demand for animal protein grows, innovative and sustainable feed and farm solutions are needed and insect protein could play an important role as an alternative and sustainable protein source in animal feed.

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