Ten years ago, we were inspired to create a new agri-food industry to contribute to the major challenges of our time. We had the idea of breeding and processing insects with several goals in mind – feeding the world’s population, preserving resources and biodiversity, and fighting global warming.
Since our inception in 2011, we have opened world-class farms, delivered our product to our first customers in the pet-food sector and obtained ISO 9001 certification, secured several rounds of multi-million-dollar funding, and announced plans to open more farms. As the world’s largest insect farm, our farms use 98% less land, which boasts incredibly low environmental impact and high levels of land preservation, which ensures that we are not clearing precious forests or emptying oceans.
How did you come up with the idea for Ÿnsect?
My professional background includes previous work on scientific projects in environmental risk assessment, biomass, and plastics recycling, in addition to an educational background in agronomy engineering.
Innovation in agriculture has been a longstanding interest of mine, and given the current climate crisis facing the earth, my team and I identified the opportunity to simultaneously make a positive environmental impact that also poses a solution to major food supply challenges.
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How has the business evolved during the pandemic?
As for many businesses, the Covid-19 pandemic shed critical light on the need for optimization in production, and the reality remains that we need to produce more food with less available land and fewer resources.
Ÿnsect has thankfully remained resilient throughout this turbulent period, with little impact on our overall workflow—we even saw the exciting acquisition of Protifarm, the global leader in mealworm ingredients for human application. However, the eye-opening events that have transpired over the course of the pandemic have only continued to solidify our resolve to positively contribute to the only earth we have and to leave it a better place for our children and grandchildren.
What can we hope to see from Ÿnsect in the future?
Our current focus is the completion of our next vertical farm in the city of Amiens. Due to open in 2022, this will be the first carbon-negative and largest vertical farm in the world. In terms of long-term goals, I can share that several projects to move towards human consumption are in the process of being authorised, in accordance with European “novel food” regulations of course.
Though we will not be seeing insects on our dinner plates right now, we are already witnessing a definite shift in perspective with regards to this. Demand is growing for insect products, and the health benefits they offer will serve to help overcome the reservations people may have.