06/04/2022 – Agriculture / Insect / Ynsect / Mealworm / Protein / Jord / US / Chicken / Animal / Feed
Ynsect opens first mealworm farm in the US and enters local premium chicken feed market
Ÿnsect – the world leading producer of insect protein – has entered into production operations in America following the incorporation of Nebraska-based Jord.
The move comes off the back of Ÿnsect’s introduction to the US market in November 2021, when the firm announced it would be supplying high value-added protein to Seattle WA start-up Pure Simple True LLC, selling ultra-premium and luxury food for dogs under the brand Bernie’s.
With the world’s largest vertical insect farm in France, Ÿnsect transforms Buffalo and Molitor mealworms into premium, high-value, sustainable ingredients to feed animals, fish, plants and humans. Having raised more than US$500 million from renowned investment funds, banks, and public institutions, Ÿnsect exports its products worldwide.
Feeding America’s booming backyard chicken market
The addition of Jord Producers – one of the United States’ biggest mealworm producers – to Ynsect's production platform not only reflects the company's continued expansion into the US market, but also the French innovator’s entry into the backyard chicken feed market. As Americans spent more time at home during the pandemic, the backyard chicken market saw significant growth. By 2026, the US market is predicted to reach approximately US$400 million, according by a recent study by consultancy Arthur D. Little.
Over the last two years, the number of Americans rearing chickens has increased to around 26 million (eight per cent of the population), allowing them to enjoy fresh eggs, keep their gardens free of pests, as well as the enjoying company of a new pet. Emerton studies showed that mealworms are the insect of choice among US backyard chicken owners, with 82 per cent preferring mealworms versus other insects. Recent trials conducted by Ÿnsect have shown increased performance on egg size. Ÿnsect’s CEO and Co-Founder, Antoine Hubert, said his firm would be looking forward to providing its high-quality products for this market under its own brand.
Taking high-quality mealworm production to the next level
“We’re very excited to continue establishing our presence in the US, which is a priority market for Ÿnsect as we expand globally,” remarked Mr Hubert, adding that as “an impact company”, sustainability and support for the environment is at the top of his firm’s agenda. “We were obviously very impressed with [Jord Producers’ CEO, Cheryl Power’s] entrepreneurial skills, as she has become a pioneer in this industry in the heart of the Midwest. She co-founded Jord within the best agricultural region in the US, allowing easy, local access to raw materials. It was therefore an obvious choice for us.”
Mealworms like those produced at Jord offer significant benefits to livestock and pets alike: very high protein content (72 per cent protein), highly digestible, hypoallergenic and the potential to decrease skin diseases. Mealworms contain all the amino acids a chicken needs for optimal development, and incorporation into chickens’ diets has been linked to increased health, with decreased pathogens and improved resistance to stress.
Cheryl Powers, CEO of Jord Producers, added: “Having built Jord Producers from scratch over the last four years with co-founders Kris Vrooman and Amber Klassen, becoming experts in raising and distributing live and whole dried larvae to the backyard chicken market, Jord Producers is delighted to join the Ÿnsect family. We’re confident that move will help us take the production of high-quality mealworms – something we’re so passionate about – to the next level.”
Sustainable manufacturing and circular economy principles
With the incorporation of Jord Producers in Nebraska, Ÿnsect’s production portfolio grows to three vertical farms and one hatchery. The integration of Jord Producers will eventually allow Ÿnsect to significantly increase volumes of mealworm larvae production and will also help pave the way into further entries into the petfood market, with ingredients like protein meal and oil expected to be approved for production in the near future in North America.
By using Ÿnsect’s ingredients instead of other types of protein for pet food, manufacturers benefit from using 98 per cent less land and 45 per cent fewer resources than traditional livestock farming. Furthermore, Ÿnsect is dedicated to promoting sustainable manufacturing. The company utilises a circular-economy model through its new, highly automated vertical farms to create value chains fully aligned with the Paris COP21 Agreements +1.5°C scenario, and the EU Fit for 55 target.
Established in 2011 in Paris, France, by both scientists and environmental activists, Ÿnsect today runs two production sites aside from its new US venture – one in Dole, France (commissioned in 2016), and one in the Netherlands (2017). The firm is currently developing the world's largest vertical farm in Amiens, France, which, once operational will be capable of producing up to 200,000 tons of ingredients. The company, which employs 260 people, has raised around US$450 million from major investment funds, banks and public entities and exports its products around the world.
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