Our Partnership with Chapul Farms
Full-service integrated biological solutions meet best-in-class project development and engineering.
Insects once dangled on the fringes of the food system as a sustainable alternative protein for humans. They’re finally being recognized as a circular agriculture solution with the potential to tackle waste management, food security, and other pressing climate-related challenges.
Project Drawdown sites diverting organics from landfills as the #1 most actionable and impactful step to address climate change. Insects such as black soldier fly larvae (BSFL) can consume waste streams previously deemed “unsolvable” and upcycle them into valuable byproducts that improve soil health.
Insect-based solutions are being recognized as a means to achieve many of the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals.
For aquaculture, the fastest growing food production system, insects fill the need for sustainable, marine and wildlife friendly inputs. Demand for insect protein, largely fueled by the pet food and aquaculture verticals, is expected to reach 500,000 tons by 2030. Government policies are catching up with this suddenly hot market, the latest being the European Union’s authorization of insect protein for pigs and poultry.
The benefits of insect agriculture are clear and the insect protein market is primed for growth. However, executing on such a wide scope of impact pathways requires systems thinking, which is currently a struggle within the industry. Lack of scale is cited by insect protein experts as a major hurdle.
Enter: Chapul Farms
You might recognize the Chapul name from Shark Tank, where founder Pat Crowley pitched the Chapul cricket protein bar and gained funding from Mark Cuban in 2014. After making headlines, they continued to pioneer the insect protein category. Now Chapul, LLC has raised $2.5M in seed funding and their partnership with Nexus PMG to launch Chapul Farms, an end-to-end insect agriculture project development company stewarding in a new era of integrated, biological solutions to solve the biggest global food system challenges. By building scalable BSFL insect farms, they close agricultural production loops and ensure food security.
A Strategic Partnership
In partnership with Chapul Farms, Nexus PMG grows project development capabilities, offering integrated, biology-based, waste-to-value solutions to an expanded range of industries producing organics waste. We combine our development and engineering capabilities with their world-class experience in living systems integration.
Our CEO Ben Hubbard expressed, “Being in the agriculture and infrastructure markets, we’ve seen the growth of the insect agriculture market. Insect farming is going to bring a lot of traction to the sustainable finance movement. We felt there was no better partner than the Chapul Farms team to get involved with this exciting and impactful industry.”
Following the completion of the Chapul Farms proprietary design, we continue to provide support throughout the construction of the Chapul Farms innovation center in McMinnville, Oregon. Described as a “microcosm of many macrocosms,” the center will run feedstock trials and testing that support the development of larger scale facilities and additional project development.
“We’ve seen an imbalance between vision and execution for the industry, often because of the complexity of insect colonies as living, dynamic systems. Our team is distinguished by our expertise in biological systems integration and a partnership with best-in-class climate infrastructure engineers, Nexus PMG. We’re excited to expand Nexus’s already growing track record of successful, climate critical waste-to-value projects,” Michael Place, CTO of Chapul Farms said in a press release.
Built On Solid Ground
It’s no secret that we at Nexus PMG are long-time fans of the Chapul mission. Our CEO Ben Hubbard went coo coo for their cricket protein powder (here’s video evidence), and Pat was a guest on episode 95 of the Bigger Than Us podcast in 2020. Host Raj Daniels sat down with Pat again on episode 183 to catch up on Chapul Farms, the insect industry as a whole, and our partnership. In the interview, Pat explains, “We’re trying to make it as low risk of investment as possible. These are all proven technologies.”