PARIS and CHICAGO — InnovaFeed, a French insect ingredient manufacturer, has teamed up with ADM to expand into the United States pet food market. The two companies announced Feb. 2 they have signed a strategic partnership, which will expand InnovaFeed’s large-scale commercialization efforts and market reach and advance ADM’s position in the emerging insect protein space.

In November 2021, ADM and InnovaFeed announced plans to construct the world’s largest insect protein processing plant in Decatur, Ill., which will be co-located with ADM’s existing corn processing complex. The facility is expected to begin operations in the fourth quarter of 2022, at which point it will produce an estimated 60,000 metric tons of animal feed insect proteins from black soldier fly (Hermetia Illucens) larvae annually.

These two announcements from ADM and InnovaFeed follow the Association of American Feed Industry Officials’ (AAFCO) tentative approval of the use of black soldier fly larvae (BSFL) in dog food formulations, which opens the door for more widespread commercialization of this alternative protein ingredient.

“Pet solutions is a strategic growth opportunity for ADM, with $100 billion in demand growing 4.5% a year,” said Jorge Martinez, president of pet solutions at ADM. “Our agreement with InnovaFeed is another exciting expansion of our abilities in this space and our focus on creation, design and development of products and solutions that meet the needs of today’s pet owners. Pet owners increasingly are demanding the same kind of sustainable, healthy products they eat themselves, and we’re proud to work with InnovaFeed to continue to enhance our ability to meet these needs.”

Founded in 2016, InnovaFeed has been gathering investments, establishing symbiotic partnerships and growing its sustainable insect ingredient business over the last five years to become a major player in this emerging sector. The company has raised €200 million ($225.9 million USD) from investors and built partnerships with academic institutions to advance its expertise in animal feed ingredients and set the stage for expansion into human food solutions in the future.

“In the face of critical environmental issues, the global agriculture industry must do its part to adapt and meet humanity’s challenges,” said Clément Ray, co-founder and chief executive officer at InnovaFeed. “At InnovaFeed, we’re revolutionizing traditional practices by creating a new natural and efficient industrial model on a large scale for sustainably sourced food. Insect protein is the next alternative protein ready to be scaled, with massive market potential.”

Following its entrance in the United States market, InnovaFeed expects to establish other partnerships with key sustainable food and agriculture companies including Barentz International, Cargill and Hello Nature.

InnovaFeed currently operates a protein production facility in Nesle, France, which takes a circular and zero-waste approach to its operations. According to InnovaFeed, its carbon footprint is 80% lower than that of its competitors.

“We’ve created a pioneering agri-food sector based on insects to feed the planet in a healthy and sustainable way,” Ray added. “Our technology will not only play a key role in the global agriculture sector today and in the years to come, but continued innovation in this space will help drive solutions to other key global challenges.”

InnovaFeed is a founding member of the North American Coalition for Insect Agriculture and a partner with the Center for Environmental Sustainability through Insect Farming, a research program facilitating collaboration between insect processors and academia across the United States.

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