French insect farming company will move away from animal feed and cut approximately 20% of staff.
French insect farming company Ynsect will refocus its attention on the pet food market, close one plant but expand another and cut approximately 20% of its staff.
The company recently raised EUR160 million (US$176 million) from investors, who have asked the company to focus on pet food, human food and plants and move away from breeding insects for use in animal feed, according to a Reuters report.
Chief executive Antoine Hubert told Reuters the company would use the funding to expand its flagship vertical farm in Amiens, France, and for new projects. Ynsect will close its Dutch production plant, which it acquired from Protifarm in 2021, cutting 35 jobs. It will maintain research activities there.
Hubert said the company will also cut 38 jobs in France. The layoffs, which amount to approximately 20% of its workforce, will reduce Ynsect’s energy and materials costs.
“In an environment where there is inflation on energy and raw materials but also on the cost of capital and debt, we cannot afford to invest loads of resources in markets which are the least remunerative (animal feed), while you have other markets where there is a lot of demand, good returns and higher margins,” Hubert said, referring to pet food, human nutrition and fertilizers.
Ynsect entered the U.S. market in November 2021 and incorporated Nebraska-based Jord Producers into its portfolio in March 2022.