Tyson, a leading US meat processor, has made a strategic move into the realm of insect protein by investing in Protix, a Netherlands-based insect ingredient producer. This investment marks Tyson’s foray into the burgeoning insect protein industry, driven by its commitment to sustainable and innovative practices. The company is not only taking a minority stake in Protix but is also partnering with them to establish a new factory in the United States.
The newly planned facility will utilize animal waste as feed for black soldier flies, which will then be transformed into pet, poultry, and fish food. The primary focus of this venture is on the ingredient application of insect protein, rather than direct consumer products, according to John R. Tyson, Chief Financial Officer of Tyson Foods. This approach aligns with the growing trend of utilizing insect-derived ingredients in animal food products, especially in the animal feed and pet food sectors.
One of the worlds biggest meat producers, Tyson Foods, is working on developing INSECT and BUG MEAT.
The food giant has purchased a stake in insect food company Protix and is building a U.S. factory to farm insects to produce insect meat products.
Insects will be fed animal… pic.twitter.com/sh9t4BxzQn
— Oli London (@OliLondonTV) October 24, 2023
Insect protein, recognized for its sustainability, has been gaining momentum as a potential solution to address the environmental challenges posed by traditional animal agriculture. A 2021 report from Rabobank highlighted the potential for insect protein as an animal feed and pet food ingredient, projecting demand to reach half a million metric tons by 2030, a significant increase from the current market size of around 10,000 metric tons.
Although Tyson is not directly involved in the pet food market, it sells its animal byproducts for use in pet food and aquaculture. By diverting waste from its cattle processing operations to Protix’s facility, Tyson aims to not only reduce waste but also generate additional revenue from this resource. This approach is a part of Tyson’s strategy to derive value from waste and enhance its sustainability efforts.
The insect ingredient market is expanding rapidly, with various startups entering the space due to the growing demand for insect protein. Tyson’s collaboration with Protix is expected to facilitate the scaling up of Protix’s operations and further promote insect-based sustainability in the meat industry.
Insect-based solutions are gaining attention due to their potential to reduce the environmental footprint of animal feed production. Insects offer a sustainable and efficient way to repurpose organic waste that would otherwise end up in landfills. The black soldier fly, in particular, is known for its ability to thrive on a wide range of food waste and byproducts from different animals, making it an attractive candidate for converting waste into valuable protein and fat.