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World’s largest insect farm gains royal approval

14 June 2019, at 1:00am

The world's largest insect farm, which is operated by Protix in the Netherlands, was opened by the Dutch King, Willem-Alexander, this week.

Protix produces insects fed on plant waste for aqua (and poultry) feeds as an alternative to protein sources such as fishmeal and soy.

King Willem-Alexander, second from right, opened the Protix facility
King Willem-Alexander, second from right, opened the Protix facility

During his visit to Protix, the king met various experts, entrepreneurs and CEOs from the agri-food industry. The programme was moderated by Peter Bakker, president and CEO of the World Business Council for Sustainable Development (WBCSD). Emphasis was laid on the transition of the food system to a future in which people can continue to enjoy good food with an ever-lower impact on the environment. The king was accompanied by the country’s Minister of Agriculture, Nature and Food Quality, Carola Schouten, who shared her view on the market and explained why insects are part of her vision for the future of the food system.

The king was also given a tour of the new facility and was able to take a look at all aspects of the cultivation process: from egg to end product. The cultivation process takes place in a controlled environment and is highly automated with sensor and data systems, robots and climate control.

Kees Aarts, founder and CEO of Protix, said: "We are very honoured to have welcomed King Willem-Alexander and minister Schouten in honour of the opening of the largest insect farm in the world and our ten-year anniversary. This is of course an important milestone for Protix. The opening of our new facility signifies a real transformation, not only for our company, but for the entire sector and markets; the transition from prototype to a mature and commercial sector."

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He continued: “We are proud to have been able to bring our innovation to maturity in the Netherlands. This opening is the springboard to move our products and technology across borders and build our leadership in this industry around the world. A 'Global Technology with Local Impact' aligns our vision to achieve a global food system in balance with nature. It was also a great celebration for all our customers, partners and employees. A memory for life.”