Hendrik de Vor - CEO of Coppens

At Coppens, we hold onto two core values: commitment and innovation. We see insects and sustainability as a way to stand out from the crowd: we want to be the first feed company to use insect products, to show we are working towards a sustainable future.


The only constant in life is change. How we change is up to us. Sustainability should be a challenge – a chance to separate yourself from your competitors. There can be apparent contradictions – reducing carbon dioxide emissions and creating more room for farm animals seem to be incompatible. If you don’t want to change, you’ll say it can’t be done. We will start to wonder how it can be done anyway. Innovation is fun – it helps you become a more attractive employer by challenging your employees. Not all innovation needs to be successful – but movement always leads to something good.

Beyond nutrition there is attraction. We believe there is an advantage to feeding live insects that goes surpasses the individual building blocks of nutrition.

Insects are only natural

At Coppens, we produce feed for pigs and broiler chickens. We have been looking into insect products for the past seven years, because we feel they are a very logical step in the food chain. Back then, there were many projects and associations with good intentions on the subject, but things just weren’t happening. Until I met the founders of Protix: though still working on their proof of concept, they had taken the necessary steps to show they could create a business. Coppens wanted to be the first to use insect products; Protix needed to show there was a business for their products. We’ve been using Protix’ insect lipids in pig feed for three years, are trialing the feeding of whole insects to chickens, and will be first in line when their protein meal is finally allowed in feed for the meat industry.

Protix LipidX™ and ProteinX™ are good products: they have a good composition of fatty acids and are nutritionally valuable products. However, beyond nutrition there is attraction. We believe there is an advantage to feeding insects that surpasses the individual building blocks of nutrition. In its natural habitat a chicken will stay under shrubs and bushes, where it finds humus, seeds, worms and larvae: their natural diet. It makes sense that a chicken will function better on this food than we might be able to explain. We believe that if chickens can show their natural behavior – scratching, foraging and hunting– their digestive process and intestinal biotics will improve and their relationship with food will be better too.

Young and vibrant

What is most remarkable about Protix is the number of young people working there: people who are passionate and want to move forward. There’s movement and progress everywhere, it’s a very vibrant environment. The factory itself is a clever proof of business. It’s efficient and automated, and visiting it at the start of 2018 made us feel confident about the success of our collaboration.