Insect farming has recently gained significant attention as insects continue to broaden our understanding of natural and sustainable animal feed. Thanks to the ambition of a whole industry, a new landmark has been achieved: For the first time, consumers can eat chicken whose diets were enriched with insect oil
This is an exciting breakthrough as insect oil reduces the environmental impact of animal husbandry. Infact, insect oil has an 80% lower carbon footprint than soybean oil. Available at French retailer Auchan, signifying a major commitment from them, and once again demonstrating the full potential of the insect sector.
THE NATURAL CHOICE
In the wild, insects constitute up to 50% of the diet of poultry. Replacing vegetable oil by insect oil in poultry diets therefore constitutes both a natural and sustainable choice. Insect oil enables farmers to eliminate their dependence on imported vegetable oil while reducing the carbon footprint and use of arable land of animal husbandry.
“The crisis we have just gone through has reminded everyone of the crucial role of agriculture in feeding us, while preserving the planet and its biodiversity. By replacing insects at the heart of the agri-food system, we are responding concretely to an increase in demand for healthy and natural food while contributing to the development of a more sustainable food system” explains Clément Ray, Co-founder of InnovaFeed.
THE RESULT OF A JOINT VALUE CHAIN EFFORT, FROM FARM TO FORK
This world premiere results from the close collaboration of an entire value chain from farm to fork. Players have combined their know-how and expertise to provide consumers with a natural and sustainable poultry whose traceability is 100% secured.
Feed formulator NEALIA, expert in animal nutrition, has developed an innovative recipe replacing soybean oil by InnovaFeed’s insect oil. This free-range chicken are then raised at the farm in Champagne and processed by Les Eleveurs de la Champagne. Finally, Auchan has renewed its pioneering commitment to more sustainable and natural value chains leveraging insects as feed and will be the first to market such chickens.
“Nealia is proud to have contributed to the birth of this new value chain by remarkably taking up the technical challenge represented by the substitution of insect oil for imported vegetable oils. This innovative project, adapted to current challenges, opens up very interesting prospects for the future ” says Camille Crepelle, Nealia Technical Coordinator.
CONSUMER DRIVEN SUSTAINABILITY
Since the launch of the “insect-fed” trout in 2018, the insect sector has come a long way. Determined to offer every consumer more natural and environmentaly friendly food, Auchan is diversifying the choice it is providing to its consumers.
Insect-fed poultry, swine or fish are increasingly popular with consumers. A Kantar study carried out in September 2019 shows that over 55% of French people would like to be able to consume insect- fed poultry.
“With this new step, Auchan confirms its pioneering role and strengthens its commitment to virtuous and natural alternatives for animal feed within the framework of our Responsible Value Chains” explains Anne Lécaille, manager of the Poultry and Butcher’s departments at Auchan.