Tyson Foods, Inc. one of the world's largest food companies, has entered into a dual investment agreement with Protix, the world's leading insect ingredients company. The strategic agreement is two-fold. On the one hand, Tyson Foods will acquire a minority stake in Protix to help finance its global expansion. On the other, the two companies have formed a joint venture to operate and build an insect ingredients plant in the continental United States.
"The agreement combines Tyson Foods’ global scale, experience and network with technology and market leadership to meet current market demand and scale production of insect ingredients," the partners said in a joint statement. Both agree that this strategic investment will support not only Protix's global growth, but that of the entire emerging insect ingredient industry and expand the use of insect ingredient solutions to create more efficient sustainable proteins and lipids for use in the global food system.
Both companies are very pleased with the agreement. "Our partnership with Protix represents the latest strategic investment by Tyson Foods in groundbreaking solutions that drive added value to Tyson Foods’ business," said John R. Tyson, Chief Financial Officer of Tyson Foods. "The insect lifecycle provides the opportunity for full circularity within our value chain, strengthening our commitment to building a more sustainable food system for the future," he added.
For his part, Kees Aarts, CEO of Protix, said he was very pleased to announce what he described as the next step in the company's international growth strategy. "Tyson Foods’ and Protix’s strategic partnership advances our joint work towards creating high-quality, more sustainable protein using innovative technology and solutions. Moreover, we can immediately use their existing byproducts as feedstock for our insects. This agreement is a major milestone for Protix and significantly accelerates our ambition to grow through international partnerships," he stated.
As mentioned, an important part of this strategic agreement between the two companies is that Tyson Foods and Protix have formed a joint venture for the operation and construction of an insect ingredient plant in the United States. Once completed, this will reportedly be the first full-scale facility of its kind to recycle food manufacturing by-products into high-quality insect proteins and lipids that will be used primarily in the pet food, aquaculture and livestock industries.
The facility to be built in the U.S. will house a closed system to support all aspects of insect protein production, including the rearing, incubation, and hatching of insect larvae. In addition to ingredients for aquaculture and the pet food industry, processed larvae may also be used as ingredients in livestock and plant feed.
Protix says this is an important milestone for the company, as it significantly accelerates its ambition to increase its global gross revenues to around €1 billion by 2035 through international partnerships. "Collaboration is in our DNA and we specifically seek out partnerships that maximize our impact. With Tyson Foods, we are able to accelerate our mission to bring food systems back into balance with nature," it highlighted in announcing the agreement.
Aqua-Spark, the first fund in the world dedicated exclusively to sustainable aquaculture, which invested for the first time in Protix in 2017 has also expressed its satisfaction with this deal. "A huge congratulations to our portfolio company Protix who has raised €55M from, among others, Tyson Foods—a multinational, protein-focused food processing company based in the U.S. This direct equity investment will enable Protix to significantly scale their production capacity and expand globally," they wrote on their LinkedIn page. As they recognized in their Impact Report 2022, Protix is one of the star companies in their portfolio.
Founded in 1935 by John W. Tyson and grown under four generations of family leadership, Tyson Foods, Inc. is one of the world’s largest food companies and a recognized leader in protein. The company is committed to innovation to make protein more sustainable and affordable to meet customers’ needs worldwide and raise the world’s expectations for how much good food can do. Headquartered in Springdale, Arkansas, USA, on October 1, 2022, it had approximately 142,000 team members.
Headquartered in the Netherlands, Protix is the leading company in insect-based ingredients for healthy and sustainable pet food, aquaculture and livestock feed, and organic fertilizer. The company operates the world's first industrial insect facility, working since 2019, which produces and processes 14,000 metric tons of LLE per year. With breeding, rearing, and processing under one roof, the company has full control of the production chain and offers a reliable, high-quality supply