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Feed & Innovation: The Future of Insect Proteins in Shrimp Feed Formulations

A close-up photo of worms
Scope /
This session aims to understand better whether insect protein derived from black soldier flies will soon become a significant alternative ingredient in shrimp feed formulation. While being one of the most talked about alternative ingredients that can replace fishmeal, to date, the majority of insect meal is sold to the pet food market, which pays better prices. The use of insect meal as a standard ingredient in shrimp feed has been limited.

To explore this topic, we will first listen to the CEO of Entobel and the CFO of Protix, two of the world's largest insect feed producers. They will share their companies' growth stories with us. While Entobel produces insect proteins in Vietnam, amid the country's enormous aquaculture industry, Protix produces insect proteins in the Netherlands, the US, and Poland, far away from the tropical shrimp farming regions. With two very different business models, both companies aim to penetrate the aquaculture feed market in general and, as a part of that, also the shrimp feed markets.

After presenting their growth stories, Entobel and Protix will be joined for a deep conversation by representatives from the investment community, a supermarket, and a feed company to discuss topics such as how fast the availability of insect protein for the aquafeed market will grow, what challenges the companies see to penetrate the shrimp feed market, what science says about the impact of the inclusion of insect proteins on the performance of shrimp feed, and how sustainable insect proteins are compared to other ingredients.

When you leave the room, you will have a much deeper understanding of the extent to which insect proteins are already accepted as a standard ingredient in shrimp feed and how acceptance will evolve.
Chairpersons /
Esther Luiten
GSF
Chairperson
/ Esther Luiten

Esther Luiten is Commercial Director at the Aquaculture Stewardship Council (ASC) and has over 15 years of experience in the global seafood sector. Focus of her team at ASC is on engaging retailers and seafood brands into ASC programme. The Market Development Team is also strengthening relationships with key stakeholders such as NGOs, governments and researchers in key markets and production countries accross the globe. Before joining the ASC, Esther was programme manager at the Sustainable Trade Initiative (IDH) and responsible for their aquaculture market transformation program. She was Deputy Director of a Dutch environmental organisation, the North Sea Foundation. She has a scientific background in Environmental Innovation and Communication, achieved her PhD in Innovation Studies and has been since then very much interested in facilitating the global seafood supply chain towards more sustainable practices.

Ronnie Tan
US Grains Council
Co-Chair
/ Ronnie Tan

Ronnie currently serves on the advisory board of Calysta, USA; as regional aquaculture consultant with the U.S. Grains Council and is an advisor to BASF, Germany. He also acts as a mentor at Hatch – an aquaculture startup accelerator. Ronnie recently stepped down as Vice-President at Blue Archipelago – the largest integrated shrimp enterprise in Malaysia, responsible for downstream operations. He was Executive Director and board member at Regal Springs Group – the largest tilapia integrator in the world. He co-led the sale of the company. He started his career building the aquaculture feed division in the Gold Coin Group – a major feed company in Asia

Program /
14:00-14:03
Opening: Setting the Scene
14:03-14:23
Insect Protein Production Growth Stories: Entobel

Two Belgian entrepreneurs, Gaëtan Crielaard and Alexandre de Caters, began their adventure in Vietnam in 2013 after realizing the vast potential of insect protein for animal nutrition during their business school years.  They quickly identified Vietnam as one of the key markets in which to set up this kind of business. In 2013, Entobel was founded with a mission to close the loop in the global food system by upcycling low-value biomass into functional ingredients thanks to insects. The name ‘Entobel’ comes from a compound name of an insect (‘ento’ in Greek for insect) and the company’s home country – Belgium (‘bel’ from Belgium in English).

In its humble beginnings, the core team has been involved in creating awareness about their products, supporting on-field trials, and giving away samples from day one. The Entobel team has grown into a multidisciplinary team of 60+ members covering all critical aspects of the business model. With their robust R&D capability, the team ensures consistent and continuous improvements of their production systems and are ready for global expansion. Looking forward, Entobel plans to further develop its production capacity with new site developments in the Region, with the vision of becoming the largest insect protein producer in the world.

Presented by Gaëtan Crielaard, CEO, Entobel

14:23-14:43
Insect Protein Production Growth Stories: Protix

Since its foundation in 2009, Protix has been leading the way in creating a sustainable food system by developing ingredients from insects—a mission we will continue to pursue. The company claims to be the world's largest industrial producer of insect protein. Just like Entobel, it produces Black Soldier Fly. Protix has brought together the right combination of people, technology, and commercial insights. They have the know-how to build up new facilities and commercial interactions. 

As well as leading the world in the technical aspects of insect production, the company has a strong track record in innovation and commercial market introductions. Protix has been awarded the World Economic Forum's Technology Pioneer award. In 2020, the Erasmus Centre for Entrepreneurship nominated Protix as the fastest-growing Dutch company with a social mission. Protix was recognized as the most innovative Dutch company and won the Dutch Innovation Award in 2020.

Protix currently operates the world's largest industrial insect protein manufacturing facility in Bergen op Zoom in the Netherlands. The company has recently announced partnerships with Tyson Foods and the European Investment Bank to build new manufacturing facilities in the US and Poland. 

Presented by Lynn de Proft, CFO, Protix

14:43-15:13
Panel Discussion: Deeper Conversations

During this interactive part of the session, Entobel and Protix will be joined by three industry stakeholders, who will engage in a lively discussion with the two companies to better understand the challenges and opportunities of integrating insect protein in shrimp feed. 

Panelists: 

Gaëtan Crielaard, CEO, Entobel

Lynn de Proft, CFO, Protix

Linda Chen, Associate, Hatch

Delphine Melchior, Global Core Nutrition Director, Cargill

Frédérique Glazener, Sustainability Manager, Albert Heijn

Rajesh Behal, Chief Investment Officer – Global Agribusiness, International Finance Corporation

Moderated by Ronnie Tan

15:13-15:15
Closing Remarks