Fly-farm venture mulls two more SA sites, appoints heavy hitters as it expands

4th July 2017 By: Irma Venter - Creamer Media Senior Deputy Editor

Fly-farm venture mulls two more SA sites, appoints heavy hitters as it expands

Waste-to-nutrient group AgriProtein will expand its presence in South Africa with two new fly-farming sites, while also growing its research and development function in the country, says CEO Jason Drew.

AgriProtein started operations in Cape Town in 2015, launching the world’s first commercial-waste-to-protein fly farm. It also conducts extensive research projects on the waste-to-nutrient cycle in South Africa.

AgriProtein has, since 2015, seen increased global momentum in its animal feed production venture.

Drew tells Engineering News Online that the company is “in the middle” of site and environmental evaluations for two new fly farms in South Africa.

“We hope to start construction on one or the other in 2018.

“The support from the South African government has been outstanding, both at a provincial and national level,” he adds.

Drew travels extensively, but is based in Cape Town.

The proposed roll-out of two more fly farms in South Africa is part of a global expansion effort. AgriProtein has already allocated licenses for fly farms in the US, Asia, Australasia and the Middle East.

In February it announced a partnership with Austrian engineers Christof Industries enabling it to roll out its fly factory blueprint on a turnkey basis anywhere in the world at the rate of 25 a year, or, more than two a month.

AgriProtein aims to build a network of 100 insect protein factories by 2024 and 200 by 2027, supplying the $100-billion aquafeed market.

AgriProtein rears fly larvae on organic waste and harvests the larvae to make natural, high-protein animal feed products.

The company believes insect meal presents a more sustainable alternative to fishmeal, with the production process also diverting large volumes of organic waste from landfills to feed the larvae.

Heavy Hitters
AgriProtein noted in June that it had appointed two new members to its global leadership team to drive its international business expansion.

Mark Williams joined AgriProtein in July as group COO and Alan Corr as group CFO.

“The appointment of Mark Williams and Alan Corr is a watershed for the business,” says Drew.

“With their outstanding corporate track records, they are joining at a time when we are undergoing massive growth. Mark and Alan share our commitment to finding a better way to feed the world and we look forward to having them on board.”

Formerly head of Nomura Investment Banking in Asia, Williams was previously with UBS in Hong Kong for ten years.  

As COO of AgriProtein, Williams will drive the global roll-out of new factory projects, hiring senior talent and engaging with financial markets as the company continues to grow.

Corr joins AgriProtein from Fidelity International in Hong Kong where he was chief financial and operating officer, having previously managed Macquarie’s Asian wealth management business. 

His task at AgriProtein will be to develop the group’s corporate and financial structures across a wide range of jurisdictions while maintaining a high standard of corporate governance.

Move To London
AgriProtein also noted in June that it had moved its global headquarters from Gibraltar to London.

New European Union regulations permit the use of insect-based nutrients in aquafeed with effect from July,” says Drew.

“With the tide of European regulation starting to move in favour of insect protein for animal feed, we felt the time had come to set up our head office in Europe.

“We opted for London because of its unrivalled position as a global financial centre and access to international markets.  Brexit is no barrier for our technology.”

Drew says current planning should see AgriProtein list around 2021 or 2022.