Sumitomo Corporation has recently concluded a strategic business partnership with Nutrition Technologies (NT), a Malaysian start-up company producing insect-derived alternative proteins.
As the exclusive distributor in Japan, Sumitomo Corporation will accelerate the marketing activity of NT’s products and the development of high value-added products including in feed for farmed fish and shrimp, and in pet food applications.
Due to rapid growth in population and recent extreme weather conditions, there is a growing concern of an upcoming global protein crisis. Under these circumstances, insect food has been identified as an alternative protein source as it requires significantly less land and water resources and barely emit greenhouse gases. The insect-derived alternative protein market is projected to grow dramatically from US$129 million in 2020 to US$2.58 billion in 2030.
NT was established in Singapore in 2015 and has been operating Asia’s largest insect-derived alternative protein plant in Malaysia since 2020 to farm and process Black Soldier Fly (BSF). The 2-hectare plant in Johor is the start of its plan to have several more plants across Southeast Asia in the next few years. According to the UN Food and Agriculture Organization, BSF is expected to become a promising protein source more than other potential insect sources such as crickets, locusts, and mealworms.
Unlike its western counterparts, NT is also able to conserve the use of electricity since its plant is located in the warm climate of Southeast Asia, which contributes to reduction in production costs as well as CO2 emissions.
Nutrition Technologies manufactures insect protein meal, oil, and frass. It already supplies a range of countries including Indonesia, Philippines, Vietnam, Thailand, US, the EU, and the UK, and is looking to add Canada and Australia onto its export list.
As the exclusive distributor in Japan, NT will further develop the market in Japan by leveraging its knowledge and network of existing businesses. This extensive market network and in-depth consumer insight will facilitate the Japanese market to access sustainably manufactured insect-based products, creating a more sustainable and equitable food system in the process.