It was in the Hauts-de-France region that the French company InnovaFeed set up shop in 2017. Their concept: breeding and processing insects for animal feed. Founded by Clément Ray, Bastien Oggeri, and Aude Guo, InnovaFeed opened its first pilot site in Gouzeaucourt in the Nord region in October 2017. Then, in 2020, InnovaFeed opened its first production unit in Nesle in the Somme.
InnovaFeed markets ingredients derived from insects - and more specifically from flies - whose final product is mainly intended for animal nutrition for fish, poultry, and pigs. This project was born from a desire to commit to and develop a sustainable and more ecological food system. Indeed, the company's ambition is "to feed a growing population while alleviating the pressure on natural resources" explains Caroline Sasia, director of communications at InnovaFeed.
Today, InnovaFeed has a large insect production capacity, with two production sites operating in the Hauts-de-France region. With a breeding area of 200,000 m², the Nesle site aims to be the largest insect farm in the world. Each year, no less than 15,000 tons of insect protein are produced. "This quantity makes it possible to meet the feeding needs of the equivalent of 100,000 tons of fish and 150,000 tons of poultry," she says. The company offers three types of products: insect protein meal, insect oil, and organic fertilizer.
The insect used in InnovaFeed's process is the Hermetia Illucens fly, also called the black soldier fly. This species of fly is known for its fecundity and its great capacity to recycle waste. In addition, it was chosen by virtue of being a non-pathogen vector for humans. "Our disruptive technology allows the insect to regain its place at the heart of the food chain, namely recycling low-value plant residues to transform them into high-quality nutrients." Thus, InnovaFeed's concept makes it possible to offer an ecological and sustainable alternative as opposed to the fishmeal and vegetable oils used for fish and animal feed. Indeed, the company favors a short circuit and its transformation processes have a low environmental impact.