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Aligned with the SDGs

Shortly, we will reach the halfway point of the deadline set by the United Nations to comply with the Sustainable Development Goals. They were approved at the General Assembly held by the organization on September 25, 2015. And they include such important issues as food security, sustainable agriculture, responsible water management, ecosystem protection and the fight against climate change.

Tebrio was launched just one year before the 193 delegates at that meeting signed the document setting out the global goals for the year 2030. And when we learned about the content of the text, we somehow felt that this declaration not only legitimized our ambitions, but also our vision of the future.

Because apart from the fact that we are a privately held company, we have many of these goals embedded in our DNA. Even before they were printed on a piece of paper.

Lost in a vicious circle

It’s no secret that the agri-food production system has reached its limits. And that it will soon be overwhelmed by a growing demand for food that it will not be able to meet.

The challenge is huge, because we are lost in a vicious circle that many do not dare to get out of. But they will have to, because the other option will end up putting us on the edge of the abyss.

No one is saying that agriculture, livestock or fishing should disappear, because they are the basis of our food chain and should continue to be so in the future. But if we do not optimize our resources and continue to deforest entire forests to plant crops that are unsustainable; if we continue to deplete the oceans; to pollute aquifers with chemicals; and to overexploit agricultural land, we will get into an even bigger trouble than we are already seeing in some regions of the planet.

Transition to a new paradigm

We are not asking you to exchange a fish or meat fillet for a bowl of insects. But if we used tenebrio molitor protein to supplement animal feed at a rate of 5% to 10%, we would free up millions of hectares of farmland that could be used for human consumption. Without endangering the animal supply chain.

A vertical insect farm produces no waste in the environment. It barely needs any land and water compared to any other farm for animal consumption. And it is capable of producing infinitely more protein in a constant and more efficient way.

That said, it is not the only alternative to undertake the transition to a new paradigm. Nor do we pretend that it is. Although the industry is sufficiently prepared to take on the challenge if we give it a chance.

By Adriana Casillas, CEO of Tebrio and President of IPIFF.