The Dutch insect breeder also gets the backing from the InvestEU programme to scale up its sustainable protein production.
Protix, a producer of alternative protein for sustainable pet food, aqua culture, livestock feed and organic fertiliser, has landed a loan for up to €37m from the European Investment Bank (EIB) to build a new production facility in Poland.
The deal was also supported by the InvestEU programme, which aims to mobilise more than €372bn in additional investment in the European Union between 2021-27.
The loan agreement with the EIB, which comes three months after Protix struck a joint venture deal with meatpacking giant Tyson Foods, marked a “significant milestone,” the Netherlands-based company said in a press release.
“This support reinforces the fact that our industry is not just here to stay but is poised for significant growth,” Protix chief financial officer Lynn De Proft said in the statement.
“Following our expansion to the United States and now our ability to do the same in Poland, we are excited to accelerate our mission to bring the food system back in balance with nature,” Proft said. “The confidence expressed by the EIB underscores our proven ability to execute, marking another significant stride in our journey as game-changers in the protein industry.’’
Protix, which breeds larvae from the black soldier fly at its first-in-the-world industrial insect facility in Bergen op Zoom, the Netherlands, announced in October it would form a joint venture with Tyson Foods, America’s biggest meat company, to build an insect ingredient factory in the country. In addition, Tyson Foods acquired a minority stake in Protix to fund its global expansion.
In an interview with Impact Investor at the time, Kees Aarts, the company’s co-founder and chief executive officer, labelled the deal with Tyson Foods a “mega-accelerator for our company, and the impact we have been trying to achieve for years.”
Since its foundation in 2009, Protix has attracted funds from impact investors including the European Circular Bioeconomy Fund, BNP Paribas, the Prince Albert II Foundation as well as Aqua-Spark, Rabo Investments and Invest-NL.
“Supporting innovative solutions is one of the priorities of the European Investment Bank and we are pleased to start collaborating with Protix,” said EIB vice-president Teresa Czerwińska. She added the loan “will enable the company to expand its activities and to apply its technologies, which contribute to the sustainable development of solutions within the bioeconomy sector.”