Tyson Foods has reached an agreement for a two-fold strategic investment with global insect ingredients company Protix.
The investment will support the growth of the emerging insect ingredient industry, expanding the use of insect ingredient solutions to create more sustainable proteins and lipids for use in the global food system.
The partnership will combine Tyson’s scale, experience and network with Protix’s technology and market leadership to meet market demand and scale the production of insect ingredients.
Tyson Foods will acquire a minority stake in Protix through a direct equity investment, helping to fund the insect ingredient company’s global expansion. Additionally, the two companies have entered a JV for the operation and construction of an inset ingredient facility in the US.
According to the companies, upon completion, it will be the first at-scale facility of its kind to upcycle food manufacturing byproducts into high-quality insect proteins and lipids to be used in the pet food, aquaculture and livestock industries.
John Tyson, chief financial officer of Tyson Foods, said: “Our partnership with Protix represents the latest strategic investment by Tyson Foods in groundbreaking solutions that drive added value to Tyson Foods’ business. The insect lifecycle provides the opportunity for full circularity within our value chain, strengthening our commitment to building a more sustainable food system for the future.”
Kees Aarts, CEO of Protix, added: “We are very excited to announce the next step in our international growth strategy. Tyson Foods’ and Protix’s strategic partnership advances our joint work towards creating high-quality, more sustainable protein using innovative technology and solutions. Moreover, we can immediately use their existing byproducts as feedstock for our insects. This agreement is a major milestone for Protix and significantly accelerates our ambition to grow through international partnerships.”
Once built, the US facility will house an enclosed system to “support all aspects of insect production including the breeding, incubating and hatching of insect larvae”. In addition to ingredients for the aquaculture and pet food industries, processed larvae may also be used as ingredients within livestock and plant feed.
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