ShapeShapeauthorShapecrossShapeShapeShapeGrouphamburgerhomeGroupmagnifyShapeShapeShapeShape

Insect meal pioneer scoops BBC Food & Farming Award

Rob Fletcher
Rob Fletcher
22 September 2017, at 6:00am

Insect producer AgriProtein has been named the BBC Food Chain Global champion for a form of protein that could be incorporated into feeds for the aquaculture industry.

The pioneering firm produces MagMeal, made from black soldier fly larvae reared on food waste, as a natural, sustainable protein substitute for the fishmeal that's widely used in aquaculture, agriculture and petfood.

Part of the prestigious BBC Food & Farming Awards 2017, the Food Chain Global Champion is a new category for this year, recognising outstanding work that is challenging established methods and practices to secure the future.

MagMeal is produced from the larvae of the black soldier fly, which are raised on food waste.
MagMeal is produced from the larvae of the black soldier fly, which are raised on food waste.

AgriProtein co-founder and CEO Jason Drew said: “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. “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.” 

BBC World Service Commissioning Editor Steve Titherington said: “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.”

New York-based chef, restaurateur and author Pierre Thiam said: "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."

New EU regulations permit the use of insect-based nutrients in aquafeed since 1 July 2017, while other geographies already permit its wider use in agriculture and petfood.

AgriProtein, which recently announced the move to a London HQ, has fly farm projects under development in several countries to produce MagMeal for the $100 billion aquafeed market and ultimately for poultry, pigs and petfood.

Using a factory roll-out model developed with global engineering firm Christof Industries, the company is able to deliver fly farms on a turnkey basis anywhere in the world at the rate of up to 25 factories per year.