The second company we have partnered with in the Legal Accelerator Program is an innovative one. Tebrito uses insect-based products to bring solutions to the global protein challenge. We met with them to discuss their extremely interesting business model, and what legal obstacles LegalWorks will help them overcome as the program develops.
Q: What is your business model and how are you working for the well-being of the people and planet?
Tebrito’s business model is to upscale agriculture and industrial waste into valuable products, namely protein for feed and food. This relies on circularity: local sourcing of raw material, the efficiency of insects to convert low-value feed into high-quality protein, the very limited footprint related to insect farming (thanks to automation and vertical farming).
Our contribution to social and environmental well-being is to provide alternative high-quality protein products at scale for an affordable financial and carbon price tag.
We don’t use food to produce food, we don’t waste resources: even insects spilling are turned into fertiliser than can go back into the food value chain. Innovative, circular and sustainable insect-based protein products.
Q: What reactions do you get when you explain your business idea?
People believe this is coming ”right in time” and are supportive. They are happy to see concrete solutions emerging to tackle global challenge affecting everyone. The level of awareness about climate challenge is fairly high and creates a spontaneous support for innovative solutions that do not come with moral trade-off imposed on citizens and consumers (e.g. ”am I actually doing good driving an electric car…?”). People understand the mechanical pressure around food (world population forecast of 10 billion in 2050) and the need of new protein sources. They welcome innovation and circularity. Finally Tebrito’s expertise lies in its best-in-class protein extraction and cleaning ability: a 90% rich protein powder that has no colour, taste or smell is a fantastic food-additive for the industry and a very neutral and acceptable ingredient for end consumers.
Q: When will the Swedish cuisine introduce and implement insects as food?
Soon! The Fotografiska chef can’t wait to have our products in the pan, Tetra Pak contacted us to prepare the foor processing lines of the near future to handle insects as an ingredient… and Livsmedelsverket is evolving from defiance to support. More generally there is a clear state of readiness within the food value chain actors to welcome a new ingredient for its distinct properties: innovative, sustainable, highly-qualitative (protein profile comparable to beef) and with positive taste and health effects!
Q: What are the main legal difficulties you cross in your line of business?
The uncertainty related to local Swedish adoption of the EU Novel Food Act but this is to be lifted soon. The regulatory framework needs to be further defined and clarified when it comes to applicable rules to produce feed and food products, but the pan-European industry Association IPIFF is helping there. Finally we operate in a global setting and the rules and regulations affecting import and export can be difficult to handle for a small structure focused on scaling up its operations.
Q: How will you use LegalWorks as a pillar and partner throughout this Legal Accelerator Program?
We have two very clear expectations: first as a valuable business partner to support strategic decision making (joint-venture or collaboration agreement? seeking IP or keeping low profile? is this contract bearing risks?…), de-risk and save time. Second as a subject matter expert to help us identify and cruise the critical path through whatever regulatory forest we find on the journey (food safety regulation, customs, branding, etc.)