His Majesty King Willem-Alexander officially opened the world's largest insect farm at Protix in Bergen op Zoom, the Netherlands on June 11. Protix produces insects for sustainable proteins by using plant waste from the environment as feed for insects. The proteins and other nutrients of insects are very nutritious and can be fed to animals, especially fish and chickens. In this way, non-sustainable sources, such as fishmeal and soy, can be replaced by a sustainable alternative.
During his visit to Protix, King Willem-Alexander met various experts, entrepreneurs and CEOs from the agri-food industry. The program was moderated by Peter Bakker, President and CEO of the World Business Council for Sustainable Development (WBCSD).
Emphasis was laid on the transition of the food system to a future in which people can continue to enjoy good food with an ever-lower impact on the environment. King Willem-Alexander was accompanied by Minister Carola Schouten of Agriculture, Nature and Food Quality. The minister shared her view on the market and explained why insects are part of her vision for the future of our food system.
King Willem-Alexander was also given a tour of the new facility and was able to take a look at all aspects of the cultivation process: from egg to end product. The cultivation process takes place in a controlled environment and is highly automated with sensor and data systems, robots and climate control.
Kees Aarts, founder and CEO of Protix: "We are very honored to have welcomed King Willem-Alexander and minister Schouten in honor of the opening of the largest insect farm in the world and our ten-year anniversary. This is of course an important milestone for Protix. The opening of our new facility signifies a real transformation, not only for our company, but for the entire sector and markets; the transition from prototype to a mature and commercial sector."
He continued: “We are proud to have been able to bring our innovation to maturity in the Netherlands. This opening is the springboard to move our products and technology across borders and build our leadership in this industry around the world. A 'Global Technology with Local Impact' aligns our vision to achieve a global food system in balance with nature. It was also a great celebration for all our customers, partners and employees. A memory for life.”
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