Ireland has always been top dog when it comes to producing and exporting food products to the rest of the world. But maybe it’s time we considered being top fly as well?
Paul Finnerty, Chairman of Yield Lab, an Ag-Tech Venture Capital Fund and Alvan Hunt, CEO of Hexafly, joined Richard Curran on The Business to tell him about the insect farming revolution they hope will wing its way to the west.
Paul told Richard that Yield Lab was founded 3 years ago in the US, in anticipation of changes in the agri-business industry. The fund is seeking Irish companies to invest in in this area.
"There are two huge challenges in food in the world at the moment: one is nutrition and the fact [that] we don’t eat good diets - but the second huge challenge is the environmental one. AgTech is where we have young startup businesses looking for ways to produce food from less resources, with less damage on the environment."
Alvan Hunt is CEO of one such AgTech company, Hexafly. He explained that the aim of the company is to take "raw material waste" from ethanol by-products and use insects to convert that waste into fertiliser. Then the insects themselves are converted into oil and animal feed, which can be used as an alternative to fish-based fish feed.
"We’re currently about to open and commission a 15,000 square foot facility just north of Ashbourne in Co. Meath. So, we hope that after a year of that plant being operational, once we’ve hit our export targets, that we’ll be able to expand."
Listen back to the full discussion on AgTech and food on The Business here.