Expanded partnership represents major step toward more sustainable animal nutrition industry
Cargill and InnovaFeed have extended their strategic partnership through a commercial contract to bring sustainable, novel feed options to additional segments of the animal nutrition industry. While their initial collaboration focused on aqua nutrition, the expanded partnership will include more species, starting with the use of oil derived from insects in swine feed.
Initiated three years ago, the Cargill and InnovaFeed partnership aims at scaling up use of insect ingredients in animal feed in order to build sustainable and performing value chains. This enhanced collaboration, which leverages InnovaFeed’s expertise in producing premium insect ingredients and Cargill’s extensive animal nutrition acumen, demonstrates Cargill’s confidence in InnovaFeed’s products and model. “Our analyses convinced us that InnovaFeed has the best products on the market, not only for its quality and performance but also thanks to InnovaFeed’s ability to deploy on a large scale,” said Helene Ziv, group leader of Cargill’s aqua nutrition business.
This expanded partnership has the potential to benefit more than 20 million piglets’ diets by 2026 and demonstrates the strategic role the insect industry can play in transforming the global food model toward a more sustainable feed industry.
“Our customers are committed to reducing the environmental impact of their feeds in response to increased pressure on natural resources and the demands of end consumers,” said Delphine Melchior, sustainability and quality sector director for Cargill’s aqua and animal nutrition business. “We share that commitment to a more sustainable future. A first step was bringing InnovaFeed insect protein to fish farming. With the introduction of insect oil, we continue our journey, increasing our positive impact on animal production.”
The expanded partnership enables InnovaFeed to demonstrate the full potential of its insect-based products for animal feed.
“Our cooperation with a player like Cargill who has laid out ambitious sustainability goals is the best proof of the environmental and nutritional benefits of our products and highlights that insect nutrients are a promising solution capable of reconciling performance and sustainability,” said Maye Walraven, head of business development at InnovaFeed.
Positive impact for swine nutrition
To evaluate the novel feed ingredient, Cargill and InnovaFeed conducted numerous feed trials in swine diets, comparing the impact of different oil sources. They found the nutritional profile of insect oil fits well with swine requirements, making it possible to supplement or replace vegetable oil without negative effects on performance.
Naturally present in their diet in the wild, insect oil is rich in lauric acid, a fatty acid that helps improve the intestinal health of animals, especially piglets. The Cargill-InnovaFeed research also suggested indications of possible performance and health benefits that require further study.
80% less carbon impact
Beyond its nutritional value, insect oil offers substantial environmental benefits. As an alternative to traditional vegetable oils, the insect fatty acids produced by InnovaFeed provide a significant reduction of carbon footprint – by at least 80% compared to vegetable oils generally present in swine feed – and zero impact on deforestation.
InnovaFeed’s circular economy approach brings added environmental benefits as the company upcycles co-products from the agriculture production of starch to feed black soldier fly larvae. Once the larvae reach a certain stage, protein and oil are extracted for use in animal and fish feed.
“Turning sustainability into a competitive argument rather than a cost, our unique circular model allows us to produce high-quality insect proteins and oils on a large scale, combining performance with minimal impact on the planet,” said Walraven.