HO CHI MINH CITY, VIETNAM — Entobel, a global insect-based ingredient producer, announced a new partnership with International Finance Corporation (IFC) to scale its operations in Vietnam. The partnership will help support Entobel’s mission of providing sustainable insect-based ingredients to the aquaculture and pet food industries.

Headquartered in Singapore, Entobel produces insect-based ingredients from black soldier flies at a commercial scale. The company offers its ingredients as an alternative to fishmeal in the aquaculture industry. By using insect meal, Entobel strives to help alleviate overfishing.

Entobel’s Co-founders Gaetan Crielaard and Alexandre de Caters realized the potential of insect feed in Vietnam after moving to the region in 2013. According to the company, Southeast Asia is an aquaculture hub and Vietnam’s tropical climate serves as the ideal place to produce black soldier flies.

“After spending almost 10 years in Southeast Asia, we know we have made the right decision to start our company here,” de Caters said. “We are aligned with IFC on focusing on the tropical region to minimize our environmental footprint and remain highly competitive.”

Entobel is currently constructing a new facility in Vung Tau, Vietnam, which will serve as Asia’s largest insect plant, according to the company. The facility will supply 10,000 tonnes of insect meal annually to local and international pet food and aqua feed customers.

Through the partnership, IFC will provide Entobel with early-stage project development support.

“We are impressed by Entobel’s operations in this innovative industry, which can provide a sustainable high-protein alternative to wild-caught fish used in aqua feed,” said Thomas Jacobs, IFC country manager for Vietnam, Cambodia and Lao People’s Deomcratic Republic (PDR). “Reaching scalable levels of production will help protect marine ecosystems and reduce the depletion of ocean resources. We are happy to support Entobel on this exciting and impactful journey.”

The first commercial sales from the facility are expected later this year.

“We are proud to count IFC as a partner,” Crielaard said. “This will enable us to accelerate international expansion in Asia where we are convinced the strongest growth potential lies for this industry. It is essential for Entobel to contribute to a more sustainable aquaculture industry and help reduce the oceans’ depletion. To achieve our ambitious impact goals, scale and industrialization of the model is needed.”

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