The seeds of Bioko were planted in 2018, when representatives from PreZero and AgriProtein met at the 2018 Insects to Feed the World conference.
PreZero had been searching for a suitable collaborator to help them achieve their aim of delivering zero-waste solutions to support a circular economy. While AgriProtein was in attendance sharing their mission to close the loop in food production by harnessing the power of insects.
Their shared goals were clear. The two companies have been collaborating ever since, and in 2019, they jointly created Bioko.
The name Bioko reflects our purpose and ambition.
‘Bio’ lends itself to our natural biological process – we recycle organic material. And ‘Oko’ is reflective of our most prized asset – the black soldier fly (BSF). The BSF species is native to the Americas, and in some South American belief systems, Oko is revered as a deity of fertile agriculture.
The combination of these two roots form Bioko. A nutrient recycling company that balances science and technology with nature to create circular economy solutions for food waste, with the ultimate aim of bettering the planet’s agricultural systems.
Bioko is also the name of a biodiverse island off the west coast of Africa. This agriculturally rich land serves an inspiration for how both delicate and powerful natural systems can be. We believe the best technologies are those that are made with nature in mind; as these are the innovations that will lead us forward in repairing our planet for future generations.
AgriProtein’s mission is to make a material impact on the environment by closing the loop in agricultural food production. As part of the Insect Technology Group, AgriProtein leverages a process proven by Mother Nature for 240 million years; harnessing the power of insects to provide an environmentally beneficial alternative for food waste by creating sustainable, high-quality feed ingredients.
AgriProtein’s love affair with insects began in South Africa in 2008. From early fly farming techniques at pilot plants, to proximate analyses and amino acid tests, the AgriProtein team slowly built the beginnings of a business and now, an industry. In 2015, AgriProtein built its first commercial scale factory (over 100,000 square feet) in Cape Town, South Africa. In 2018, its parent company successfully raised $105 million – an industry leading amount at the time that took the business’ overall fundraising efforts above $130 million.
AgriProtein has developed a tried and tested circular economy strategy, fully establishing the notion of industrializing commercially competitive nutrient upcycling using insect technology. In 2019, the business secured global partners to deploy large-scale factories across key target markets, expanding AgriProtein’s footprint internationally. Today, the Insect Technology Group has offices in California, London, the Netherlands, Belgium, Singapore, Bangalore, Hong Kong, and South Africa.