The ag sector heavyweight Cargill and French biotech firm InnovaFeed initially teamed up on a fish feed project in 2019; the two are now extending their partnership to include more species, starting with pigs. The two companies hope to feed 20 million piglets with insect oil by 2026 as part of a broad alternative protein deal. InnovaFeed will produce the insect oil in northern France and ship it to Cargill in the U.S. for use in animal feed products. Insect oil is rich in lauric acid, a fatty acid that helps improve the intestinal health of animals and especially piglets.
InnovaFeed has also joined forces with U.S. grain trader and processor Archer Daniels Midland Co. to construct the world’s biggest insect protein plant in Decatur, Illinois. Construction on that facility is expected to begin next year.
Demand for alternative proteins is high given tight supplies of soybeans and strong demand out of China as it rebuilds a hog herd nearly halved by African swine fever.