Salmon Group to introduce grasshopper meal into salmon feed

The Norwegian company partnered with the startup Metapod to incorporate new, locally produced insect meal from grasshoppers and crickets in the salmon feed.

Salmon Group to introduce grasshopper meal into salmon feed
June 2, 2020

Salmon Group has entered into an exclusive agreement with the startup Metapod, which ensures salmon and trout farmers of the network a nutritious feed for fish.

Metapod has developed technology to produce insect meal from grasshoppers and crickets that ensure local production of one of the most important and requested ingredients in food, both for animals and humans. The production will also refine food waste, seeing this as a valuable resource worth bringing back into the value chain. As such, the industry introduces a new resource and new technology, and Salmon Group further reduces its footprint.

“The way Metapod considers resources corresponds with our sustainability work in practice. It does not claim land or resources which could be utilized for other food production for humans or animals. Additionally, they introduce a residual raw material – a 'problem resource', so to speak – from other food production which otherwise would not have the same value. Circular economically this is spot on! Metapod has a unique position here,” said Nils Inge Hitland, purchasing and feed manager of Salmon Group.

The nutritious insect meal can compete with the main source of protein in today's diet for farmed fish, namely soy and fishmeal. Metapod's organism will be fed with leftovers from the bread and brewery industry that would otherwise end up as waste. This contributes to a circular economy and a reduction in the carbon footprint. The production is not only energy- and area-efficient. Local production along the Norwegian coast also ensures short transport to the feed factories.

“Primarily we start the breeding of grasshoppers to accommodate a large and growing need for new sources of protein and more, and more nutritious, food to the world's population. Large-scale grasshopper farming is new, and we have built our technology from scratch. Here we have control of all aspects and factors of the production and can thus ensure a safe and nutritious food source,” said founder and CEO of Metapod, Frederick Darien.

Metapod brings with this a new protein source to the market. At the same time, they use a poorly utilized resource in their production, food leftovers, that also binds carbon so that it re-enters the value chain. Metapod will also benefit from waste heat from other production.

Salmon Group is continuously adjusting its feed recipe to ensure optimal use and mix of all ingredients of raw materials. This is to ensure good animal health, low carbon footprint and the best possible quality of salmon that meets the market. “There are no companies in the industry of Norwegian salmon farming that have introduced insect meal from grasshoppers as an ingredient in the feed. It is very exciting that an innovative and forward-thinking grouping such as Salmon Group, which represents such a large share of the production volume in Norway, invests in this. For us, this means that we can start large-scale production from day one and develop the concept further,” said Darien.