Thailand’s Charoen Pokphand Foods (CP Foods) and Chiang Mai University have signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) to develop insect proteins.
The agreement aims to commercialise insect-based protein as a sustainable alternative food source for both animals and humans. Under this MoU, CP Foods will fund the project and jointly develop the first black soldier fly smart farm in Thailand. This pilot farm will also be a learning centre for students, farmers and the community.
“Chiang Mai University and CP Foods have the same goal, which is to explore the new products for driving the Thai agriculture sector towards sustainable growth, using a BCG economy model as an outline. This research will not only benefit both organisations, but also farmers across the country, who can generate extra income from this new economic insect,” said Dr Yuthana Phimolsiripol, director of Food Innovation and Packaging Center at Chiang Mai University.
Dr Pairat Srichana, senior VP of CP Foods, noted that the company has been working on alternative protein sources, be it plant-based protein, cell-based protein, and insect-based protein, in response to the new sustainable food trend and building food security. The company, he said, has a keen interest in the insect sector. He added that in 2013, CP Foods had developed cricket feed and had started researching the benefits of the black soldier fly in 2016. “The black soldier fly is a sustainable choice of alternative protein and fat sources. Therefore, we are making a traceable and value-added insect protein,” Dr Srichana said.