BANGKOK — Thai Union Group PCL, a global seafood producer, announced Nov. 1 an investment in Orgafeed, an insect-based pet treat startup based in Thailand. The investment amount was not disclosed.

Orgafeed produces pet food and treat products for its Laika brand formulated with black soldier fly larvae, a sustainable protein alternative becoming more recognized throughout the global pet nutrition market. The company participated in Thai Union Group’s first cohort of SPACE-F, an incubator for global food technology startups co-founded by the firm in 2019.

“We believe that insect protein is a sustainable choice that helps to raise the standard of the pet food industry, both in terms of nutritional benefits and sustainability,” said Ittikorn Thepmani, co-founder and circular economy officer of Orgafeed. “With this partnership and investment from Thai Union Group, we will be able to scale both our business as well as the positive impacts on the environment. We look forward to this journey together with Thai Union Group and their pet care experts and professionals.”

Thai Union Group’s PetCare platform, i-Tail, is expected to benefit from the investment in Orgafeed as it looks to enhance its nutritional portfolio. Orgafeed adds to i-Tail’s existing pet portfolio, which includes Marvo, Bellota, Paramount and Calico Bay brands as well as several private label brands.

Thai Union recently expanded its presence in the Japanese pet food market after forming a subsidiary to import, distribute and sell pet food and other pet products, the company reported.

“At Thai Union, innovation and sustainability are two important pillars of our business,” said Roy Chan, chief executive officer of i-Tail.” The pet industry is experiencing strong humanization and premiumization trends, which has led to customers looking for healthier and more sustainable products, thus driving our portfolio towards sustainable pet products, such as insect protein, where the environmental impact (emissions, land and water usage) is significantly lower than other kinds of farmed protein.

“Orgafeed will help us better serve our customers, especially in the sustainable pet food segment. We’re very pleased to be participating in this round of funding and are looking forward to exploring collaboration opportunities with them.”

The investment was made possible through Thai Union’s Corporate Venture Capital (CVC) fund, which focuses its strategic investments on early-stage companies developing alternative proteins, functional nutrition, biotechnology and new technologies benefiting the food value chain.

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