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The World’s Fastest Growing Protein Sector is Facing, and Creating, Serious Environmental Risks, and It’s Not Beef

The World’s Fastest Growing Protein Sector is Facing, and Creating, Serious Environmental Risks, and It’s Not Beef (AgFunder)

·         Contrary to common belief, the fastest growing protein category is not land-based animal meat but seafood.

·         However, while the environmental impacts of beef farming are relatively well known, the footprint of aquaculture has received far less attention.

·         According to a new report from FAIRR, an investor network focused on highlighting ESG issues in protein supply chains, shrimp production can be as emission-intensive as beef production.

·         Furthermore, the report states that aquaculture poses a risk to biodiversity and can lead to habitat destruction, citing aquaculture’s contribution to the issue of algal blooms as an example.

Analysis and comments

·         The report from FAIRR (which unfortunately it seems only members can access) highlights a number of ESG issues in aquaculture – but  also a number of interesting solutions.

·         Another technology mentioned is insect-based feed/insect protein – again a sector I find very interesting from an investment perspective, given there are a number of (currently private) European players in this space (which is unusual in agtech). Given some insect farmers create a waste-to-protein loop, i.e. use food waste to feed their insects, they basically address two issues in one go.

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