Tyson Foods reached an agreement for a two-fold investment with insect ingredients company Protix. The strategic investment will support the growth of the emerging insect ingredient industry and expand the use of insect ingredient solutions to create more efficient sustainable proteins and lipids for use in the global food system.
Through a direct equity investment, Tyson Foods will acquire a minority stake in Protix to help fund its global expansion. In addition, Tyson Foods and Protix have entered a joint venture for the operation and construction of an insect ingredient facility in the continental United States. Upon completion, it will be the first at-scale facility of its kind to upcycle food manufacturing byproducts into high-quality insect proteins and lipids which will primarily be used in the pet food, aquaculture, and livestock industries.
“Our partnership with Protix represents the latest strategic investment by Tyson Foods in groundbreaking solutions that drive added value to Tyson Foods’ business,” said John R. Tyson, chief financial officer of Tyson Foods. “The insect lifecycle provides the opportunity for full circularity within our value chain, strengthening our commitment to building a more sustainable food system for the future.”
“We are very excited to announce the next step in our international growth strategy. Tyson Foods’ and Protix’s strategic partnership advances our joint work towards creating high-quality, more sustainable protein using innovative technology and solutions. Moreover, we can immediately use their existing byproducts as feedstock for our insects. This agreement is a major milestone for Protix and significantly accelerates our ambition to grow through international partnerships,” said Kees Aarts, CEO of Protix.
The to-be-built facility in the U.S. will house an enclosed system to support all aspects of insect protein production including the breeding, incubating, and hatching of insect larvae. In addition to ingredients for the aquaculture and pet food industries, processed larvae may also be used as ingredients within livestock and plant feed.