PARIS, FRANCE — InnovaFeed, a French biotech insect producer for animal and plant nutrition, announced Feb. 2 an agreement to supply insect protein to Archer Daniels Midland Co.’s (ADM) pet food division.

InnovaFeed said it will begin research and development operations later this year at its insect protein farming facility in Decatur, Illinois, US. The plant, a partnership with ADM announced in 2020, will have annual production capacity of 60,000 tonnes of animal feed protein derived from black soldier flies when production is scaled up by 2024. It also will produce 20,000 tonnes annually of oils for poultry and swine rations, and 400,000 tonnes of fertilizer.

In 2021, US pet food and animal feed regulators added Hermetia Illucens, otherwise known as black soldier flies, to the list of insects that can be used in dog food. Insect-based ingredients provide high-quality nutritional content with a significantly lower carbon footprint and land requirement, InnovaFeed said.

“Insect protein is the next alternative protein ready to be scaled, with massive market potential,” said Clément Ray, co-founder and chief executive officer of InnovaFeed.

Jorge Martinez, president, pet solutions, ADM, said the pet food market is a growth opportunity for the company with $100 billion in demand growing 4.5% a year.

“Our agreement with InnovaFeed is another exciting expansion of our abilities in this space and our focus on creation, design and development of products and solutions that meet the needs of today’s pet owners,” he said.

Terms of the agreement were not disclosed.