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AgriProtein (UK) acquires insect firm Millibeter

AgriProtein, world leader in nutrient recycling, acquires Millibeter. With its breed of the black soldier flies, the Flanders-based start-up provides the pet food of the future. Moreover, Innovation Fund – the investment fund of the chemical federation essenscia – and two other entrepreneurs are investing a total of EUR 1.4 million in the firm. Millibeter shareholders are paid in shares and become co-owners of the British company.


Worldwide expansion

Founded in 2008, AgriProtein is the world's leading pioneer in the nutrient recycling industry, making the 'Top 50 Genius Company' list of Time magazine. The British firm already has a larval plant in South Africa, where it will soon build a second one. With the acquisition of Millibeter, it kicks off its conquest of the European market. Earlier in 2018, the firm invested USD 105 million to expand into Africa, the US, Asia and the Middle East.

Shaping the future of pet food

The protein found in the larvae of the black soldier fly is ideal as a food ingredient for chickens, pigs and fish such as trout and salmon. Moreover, skincare company Mylène has tested it for use in hand creams, and the chitin in the larval exoskeleton has chemical applications in coatings and for the removal of heavy metals in water purification plants.

First larval factory in Belgium

AgriProtein is investing EUR 15 million in its first large larval factory in Belgium, which could be followed by one or two additional plants in the future. Every day, the factory will produce 200 million larvae, which process 50,000 tons of food waste per year. The larvae will produce 3,000 tons of protein and 1,500 tons of fat annually. Additionally, AgriProtein is planning to set up a local research center in Flanders.

"What we do is the future of pet food,” says Johan Jacobs, founder of Millibeter. Six years ago, he established Millibeter in Antwerp and built a small pilot installation in a hall in Aartselaar. With the takeover by AgriProtein and subsequent capital increase, the firm’s innovation opportunities and impact will grow substantially.

About Belgium and Flanders

With Dutch as its official language, Flanders (Dutch: Vlaanderen) is the northern region of Belgium. The capital of both Belgium and Flanders is Brussels.

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Reported by
De Tijd newspaper
12 December 2018

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