Circular agriculture: Fly Genetics

Groupe Grimaud and Nasekomo launch joint venture 

What is the insect-based bioconversion industry?

The insect-based bioconversion industry aims to transform the agri-food sector into a more sustainable circular economic model by recycling agricultural waste streams into high value-added proteins.

Thanks to the involvement of insects, bioconversion is simple. Many industries produce large amounts of organic by-products that are difficult to recycle, including leftovers from breweries, cereal processing industries, and fruit and vegetable cuttings. These biomasses are fed to black soldier fly larvae, which convert organic nutrients into their own body mass. At maturity, they are harvested and processed into protein that can be included as an ingredient in feed for fish, pets, chickens, and other animals.

Circularity in agriculture brings two major benefits. It allows for recycling and recovery of by-products and decreases the environmental impact of animal production (especially aquaculture) through a more sustainable and efficient input.

Recent studies show that diets including insect-based products produce more robust animals, potentially reducing the need for antibiotics in animal feed.

What are the objectives of Fly Genetics?

Fly Genetics will provide the insect sector with enhanced black soldier flies in order to optimize the conversion of by-products into alternative proteins and other insect-derived products.

Fly Genetics is born from the alliance of a start-up specializing in insect production with experts in genetic selection of animals for efficient protein production.

Uniquely positioned within the circular agriculture revolution, Nasekomo provides clients with insect- based industrial bioconversion solutions that allow for by-product upcycling and processing into alternative proteins and a range of insect-based products.

Looking to innovate further and improve its bioconversion solutions, Nasekomo approached Groupe Grimaud, a group with more than 50 years of experience in animal genetics. The alliance will work together on new black soldier fly strains to increase insect bioconversion efficiency.

Frédéric Grimaud (CEO of the eponymous group) states: “We are happy to apply all of our know-how to a natural diversification of our activities, while continuing to support traditional animal sectors through investments focused on sustainability and animal welfare such as sexing duck eggs, or more recently, the inauguration of a new French hatchery with the latest standards in laying hens. For us this means striking the right balance between our flagship activities and the newly emerging ones.”

The new “Fly Genetics” company plans to market its high-performance black soldier flies from the second half of 2021.