Did you know that meat has a much higher “energy footprint” than any other food? It takes 75 times more energy to produce meat than corn. It also takes an area of vegetation 7 times the size of EU to produce food for cattle and other livestock animals in the Europe.
FAO (UN’s Food and Agriculture Organization) predicts that the population on earth will grow up to 9 billion by 2050 which would double the worldwide demand for meat and water. Undoubtedly, some alternative solutions to traditional livestock and feed sources must be developed to satisfy the need of the global population and to reduce the pressure on the Earth’s forests and seas.
Fortunately, Cedric Auriol as a restorative innovation leader founded Micronutris a perfect solution for this problem.
Micronutris: Edible Insects
Founded in 2011, Micronutris is the first farm in France raising edible insects and creating insect-based products. Their mission is to produce high-quality and healthy food options in a sustainable way meanwhile becoming leader on the European market. Micronutris is seeking for high protein alternatives as the production of meat is not sustainable and won’t be possible to satisfy the needs of the growing population.
The consumption of insects is the solution as the production of cold-blooded insects requires 7x less plants, 50x less water and emits 100x less greenhouse gases compared to livestock. Besides reducing the environmental pressures, insect-based diet will cut down the global food and feed insecurity. Cédric Auriol, hopes that Micronutris will continue to switch the mindset of the European population towards the ‘insect-based diet’. The products provide more nutritional benefits than meat and dairy without the negative health and environmental impacts of meat or meat-substitutes products.
Why is Micronutris a Restorative Innovation Champion?
“Restorative Innovation is an innovation theory that forms the basis of a robust innovation economic model that is used to predict & explain a certain pattern of innovation-driven growth for innovative solutions that does not harm our health, humanity and the environment.”
The value proposition of Micronutris made it to be classified into restorative innovation as it fulfills the characteristics of restorative innovation.
Along the health dimension, bugs contain abundance of nutritional properties such as minerals like Zinc, Magnesium and vitamins. Additionally, insect-based diet will cut down the global food and feed insecurity as no pesticides and artificial coloring are used in the Micronutris’ production process.
Besides the positive contribution of Micronutris to the overall health, this new business proposition will increase the livelihood of the population. As the required capital expenditures to start a farm are low, the expansion of Micronutris will create new jobs for the local population and maybe for other European country if they expand overseas.
This business model also attracts a new customer segment on the European market. The polarity of standpoints and the low public attention (in Europe) about the consumption of insects, positions Micronutris on an ‘early adopter market segment’. Therefore, the consumers are willing to pay a premium price for those insect-based products. Even though they are facing a price-dilemma, the targeted customers are promoting the eco-friendly alternatives which enable co-existence with mainstream products. Since the creation of the company, the founder has acquired larger market share. Micronutris has grown from a start-up with a handful of clients in 2011 and a small local business with 2000 clients in 2014 into a French’s leading producer of insect-based food products today. The brand is now available in supermarkets and on e-commerce platforms.
Concerning the Restorative Innovation model, Micronutris has reach the second point on the curve in 2014 and is now at the third point as the price is slightly higher than the meat or meat-substitutes producers. The team is currently innovating along the optimization of the supply chain.
Lastly, Micronutris produces eco-friendly products as the production of those cold-blooded insects requires less feed, less water and produces fewer greenhouse gases and ammonia compared to the production of any type of meat. Moreover, the insects require significantly less land compared to traditional livestock as they can be cultivated vertically. Micronutris’ team is producing 1 ton every month on a 650-square meter rearing space.
Besides, the company reduces the environmental footprint of their food production by creating an organic and ‘Zero-waste’ production process. For example, the insects are 100% local and are fed with organic plants cultivated in their own land. Indeed, insects’ waste play a crucial role as pollinators in plant reproduction or in the improvement of soil fertility which facilitate the development of their resources.
Micronutris: What’s following?
To know more about ‘Micronutris’
To know more about Restorative Innovation initiatives, visit: www.restorativeinnovation.com
Special thanks to EMILIE DE BERNARD DE FAUCONVAL DE DEUKEN, who co-authored the paper.