FINLAND- Skretting, a major player in aqua feed, has signed an offtake agreement with Volare, committing to purchase a “substantial” volume of products from Volare’s upcoming Black Soldier Fly (BSF) production facility. 

This facility, the first of its kind at a commercial scale, is set to be constructed in Finland later this year.

Jarna Hyvönen, Volare’s Chief Operating Officer (COO), expressed the significance of this partnership, particularly in the context of Norwegian salmon feeds, stating, “This is a significant step for insect meal inclusion in aquafeeds, especially Norwegian salmon feeds.

While the exact percentage volumes of the offtake deal remain undisclosed, the collaboration is poised to address the pressing issue of carbon footprint in salmon farming.

The aquaculture industry, particularly salmon farming, faces the challenge of a significant carbon footprint, with around 75% arising from feed. Additionally, 95% of the feed footprint originates from raw materials. 

The collaboration between Skretting and Volare is seen as a strategic move towards industry-wide change and sustainability.

Erling Johansen, Purchasing Manager for Special Ingredients at Skretting Norway, emphasized the need for novel sustainable raw materials, stating, “We are constantly looking for novel sustainable raw materials, and this is a welcome addition to our current supply of insect meal. We need more volume.”

Norway has set ambitious goals for salmon production, aiming for 5 million tons by 2050. Sustainable feed production is considered critical to achieving this target and reducing emissions and costs, as highlighted in EY’s annual Norwegian Aquaculture Analysis.

A key aspect of the collaboration is its potential long-term nature. Skretting and Volare envision this engagement as the initial step in a lasting partnership. 

Establishing this collaboration involved extensive dialogue and reassurance efforts by Volare, including presenting product samples from its demonstration factory and visiting Skretting Norway.

Volare, a spin-off from VTT Technical Research Centre of Finland, previously outlined plans to build an industrial-scale production site in Järvenpää, Finland, with an annual production capacity of 5,000 tons of insect protein meal and oil. 

The company aims to have multiple factories across Europe by the end of the decade.

Volare’s protein production model aligns with circular economy principles, minimizing waste by utilizing food industry surpluses such as inedible grain components, vegetable trimmings, and by-products from beer brewing. 

The environmental impact of insect production is claimed to be negligible compared to conventional protein and oil-feed raw materials, with significantly lower emissions. 

Volare has patented a process to produce protein and oil from BSF larvae with lower energy consumption, resulting in a 50% lower operating cost compared to similar methods.

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