How an Insect Protein Firm Won the BBC Food Supply Chain Award

The BBC Food Chain Global Champion Award has been established to “shine a light on outstanding work in food, drink and farming”, with an international focus. The award highlights as one of its criteria, a business or individual, who has changed the way we deal with our food, from its production to its presentation and consumption.

The BBC Food Chain Global Champion Award, is part of the BBC Food and Farming Awards, and is judged by an international panel. In September, Agriprotein, with its poignant tagline ‘Repairing the Future’, has been declared the first ever winner.

Why Agriprotein Has Won

Agriprotein, and specifically its pioneering and flagship product ‘MagMeal’ was selected from other exceptional short-listed businesses. MagMeal is an animal feed ingredient (aquafeed) which is formulated and made using fly larvae which is reared on global food waste. It’s a way of creating a sustainable form of protein which is needed for feeing agricultural animals.

Previously the protein needed for agricultural feed has come from both grains and marine captured fishmeal. It is predominantly this latter type which MagMeal seeks to replace. The reasoning behind this revolutionary process is to reduce and remove the impact of sea-caught protein on the marine environment. The increased demand for global food, together with the increased environmental limits, have caused prices of fishmeal to massively increase in recent times. In essence, the Agriprotein products are instead derived from a bioconversion process which takes waste already in existence and recycles it into three products: the MagMeal agricultural feed as well as MagOil and MagSoil.

Jason Drew, AgriProtein’s co-founder and CEO, on accepting the award stated: “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.”

It’s an incredibly powerful, and a radically different approach, which put it in the top position for the award. As long as humans eat meat, agricultural feed is needed. Simultaneously, through our global eating processes, we create food waste. If this can be put to good use to go back into the cycle, without harming the marine environment, then this has to be positive.

This is cutting edge development as new European Union regulations have only permitted the usage of insect-based nutrients in aquafeed since 1st July this year. It has been permitted elsewhere, and also for use with pets, but seeing it used more widely is the aim.

AgriProtein in the Future

AgriProtein has recently announced that they are moving to a London-based headquarters, presumably to take advantage of the new European regulations, and widening their global reach. New fly farm projects are under development in several different locations across the globe for the aquafeed market, and ultimately for pigs and poultry.

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