Innovafeed launches first North American facility in Illinois

Innovafeed, a pioneering French agricultural technology company, celebrated the opening of its first North American Insect Innovation Center (NAIIC) in Decatur, Illinois. This new facility marks a major step in the company’s expansion into the U.S. market, focusing on the production and commercialization of insect-based ingredients for animal feed, pet food, and plant nutrition.

Located strategically in the heart of America’s corn belt, the Decatur site was chosen for its proximity to ADM’s vast agricultural processing capabilities. This location enables Innovafeed to utilize agricultural by-products from ADM to produce high-quality insect meal, oil, and soil amendments in a zero-waste operation. The products, marketed under the brand Hilucia, promise to revolutionize the sector with sustainable and efficient protein sources.

The facility was inaugurated with significant local and international dignitaries in attendance, including Illinois Governor JB Pritzker and Decatur Mayor Julie Moore Wolfe. This event underscores the state’s commitment to fostering innovation and driving economic growth through sustainable practices.

Innovafeed’s partnership with ADM includes an exclusive distributorship agreement for the pet food industry in North America, covering the U.S., Canada, and Mexico. This collaboration is already yielding results with commercialized Hilucia products and a comprehensive R&D study conducted at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign to further validate the nutritional benefits of insect-based ingredients.

Chris Cuddy, ADM Senior Vice President and President of Carbohydrate Solutions, highlighted the partnership’s commitment to sustainable sourcing and innovation. “Our collaboration with Innovafeed not only meets the growing demand for alternative protein sources but also strengthens our value chain, enhancing our offerings across the food, beverage, feed, and fuel sectors,” he stated.

The Decatur facility is connected directly to ADM’s nearby corn processing plant, which provides up to 300,000 tons per year of by-products. These are transformed into valuable products, including 60,000 metric tons of animal feed protein and 20,000 metric tons of oils annually.

Clément Ray, CEO of Innovafeed, expressed excitement about the new facility’s potential. “Decatur’s rich agricultural resources and its status as a hub for agribusiness make it an ideal location for our first U.S. operation. Our innovative and circular production process is set to contribute significantly to the U.S. Department of Energy’s goals for decarbonizing the industrial sector,” he noted.

Governor Pritzker praised Innovafeed’s decision to locate in Illinois, citing the state’s history of agricultural innovation and its role in advancing environmental solutions. “Innovafeed’s presence here is a testament to Illinois’s commitment to innovation and its pivotal role in driving both local and global economic impact,” Pritzker remarked.

The opening of the Decatur facility is part of Innovafeed’s broader strategy to expand its global footprint and solidify its position as a leader in sustainable agtech solutions. The company, recognized as the Most Innovative Company of 2024 by Fast Company and accredited by the Pet Sustainability Coalition, continues to set benchmarks for environmental stewardship and innovation in the agribusiness sector.

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