Insect protein pioneer wins broadcaster’s first international food and farming award

20 September 2017

AGRIPROTEIN has won fresh acclaim in the quest for a new source of protein to feed the planet’s burgeoning population.

The waste-to-nutrient pioneer was today (20 September 2017) named the BBC Food Chain Global Champion for its flagship product which is helping secure the future of food while delivering significant environmental benefits.

An animal feed ingredient made from fly larvae reared on food waste, MagMeal™ is a protein substitute for fishmeal widely used in aquaculture, agriculture and petfood. With world fish stocks under threat, MagMeal™ offers a natural, sustainable alternative that will never run out as long as humans produce waste.

Part of the prestigious BBC Food & Farming Awards 2017, the Food Chain Global Champion is a new category for this year – and the BBC’s first ever international food and farming award – recognising outstanding work that is challenging established methods and practices to secure the future.

Said BBC World Service Sr. Commissioning Editor Steve Titherington: “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.”

Mr Thiam was on an independent panel of award judges, chaired by food writer Madhur Jaffrey, that included Polly Russell (Curator at the British Library), Mark Rosegrant (director of the environment and production technology division at the International Food Policy Research Institute) and Shashi Sareen (food safety expert, Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations).

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 wasteto-nutrient industry.”

He continued: “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.”

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.

Earlier this year AgriProtein entered the Global Cleantech Top 100 and won a CleanEquity award for its environmental technology research presented by HSH Prince Albert II of Monaco. Last year its industrially-scalable solution to the depletion of fish stocks in the Indian Ocean won the Australian government’s Blue Economy Challenge 2016.

A Food Chain programme about MagMeal™ airs on BBC World Service on Thursday 21st September and there’s a two-part special about the Awards on BBC Radio 4’s The Food Programme on Sunday 24th September at 11.32 GMT and Monday 25th September at 14.30 GMT.

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