Insects and tunicates have several exciting uses, and could compliment traditional raw materials as the demand for protein increases rapidly.
Pronofa is already the leading company i in the Nordics to explore full-scale production of both of these new raw materials, and would be a trailblazer for new and sustainable protein sourcesin the years to come.
Pronofa was established in January 2021 and was spun out of the cornerstone company Denofa, which has produces foodstuffs in Fredrikstad since 1912.
Denofa’s industrial competence was crucial in the establishment of Pronofa, in combination with funds raised in the capital market.
Denofa: Traditions and industrial competence
Pronofa has had access to professional resources and competency from Denofa, a majority stakeholder with 30% of the shares, from the beginning.
Several employees have either a background from Denofa or divide their time between the two companies, including CEO Hans Petter Olsen and research & development director Hege Rivedal Ødegaard. With close ties to the Denofa management team, Pronofa is secured access to the solid industrial competence that Denofa possesses.
MARINE FEED / MARINE TASTE
Pronofa’s project manager for tunicates, Magnus Petersen (marine biologist) had almost single-handedly initiated our marine efforts during the spring of 2021. The original plan was to produce animal feed from the exciting raw material tunicate.
Through work he got in touch with Marine Feed / Marine Taste from Stenungsund in Sweden. For the last 10-12 years, they had experimented with tunicates for various purposes, from bio gas to animal feed, and eventually also for food.
Founder Fredrik Norén (marine biologist) and his team in Sweden had discovered that tunicates actually tastes really good. They had also found a way to make minced meat from tunicates, which could be used in the same way as regular minced meat products.
Originally, they planned on producing animal feed from the exciting raw material tunicate.
The hamburgers Marine Taste made tasted good, and their «Umami fond» had already excelled and won awards in Sweden. It was clear that this company had come far, but that they lacked the capital and the network to grow to a larger company.
After the acquisition, Pronofa has seemingly focused mostly on food and aims to launch shelf-ready products in the fall of 2023. However, we are working in parallel with animal feed and other business areas for tunicates as well. There are copious possibilities with this raw material!
The former owners of Marine Feed / Marine Taste have become shareholders at Pronofa.
By the West Coast city of Kristiansund, Terje Kirkeland and Knut Magne Storvik have attained permits to cultivate tunicates. With vast experience from fishing and the oil industry, the two de to ringrevene opparbeidet seg solid teknisk kompetanse for å gjøre målinger og høste fra havet.
With the acquisition of Tunicat AS, Pronofa has gained an important parter that particularly contributes on R&D work.
FLYING FEED, FREDRIKSTAD
In May 2021 Pronofa bought a local start-up company called Flying Feed. This company had made significant progress with larvae production, but lacked capital to make the next steps.
Pronofa then bought the start-up company Ecoprot in 2021-2022. Through the process of assessing whether to build a large-scale insect production facility in Norway, this facility was discontinued in 2023.
The conditions for running an insect production must improve before Pronofa can start building its own large-scale facility. In the meantime, we continue to work with other producers to map the demand in the market. Also, our R&D work continues at full strength at our lab in Fredrikstad.
The tunicate species grow along the coast. They contain animal proteins with a favorable composition of amino acids, and can be used for food and animal feed.
Meat from tunicates has a climate footprint of only 0.8 kg. CO2 EQ per kg. protein. This is exceptionally low and means that tunicates are basically the World’s most climate-friendly source of animal protein.
Our other business area is insect production. Our primary focus is on the specie Black Soldier Fly (BSF).
Every fraction of the larvae and fly can be used in production. Meal and oil, chitin (chitosan) and frass can be used in fish- and animal feed, pharmaceuticals, and as organic fertilizer, respectively.
Denofa AS, Kreano AS, Reitan Kapital AS, Canica AS, Six-Seven AS and Macama AS own collectively more than 75% of Pronofa ASA (2022).
The remaining shares are primarily divided between various investment companies, in addition to former owners of companies that have been acquired and incorporated by Pronofa.
Chairman: Bjørge Gretland
CEO: Hans Petter Olsen
- Broad experience from venture capital, mergers & acquisitions and capital markets
- Food tech, sustainable tech investments, active ownership, global expansion, partnerships
- Holds a Master of Economics and a PhD in strategy and finance
- Broad experience from investments and capital markets for several years
- Sustainable tech investments, active ownership
- Education from Oslo Business School (HA)
- CEO Jackon
- MSc Business & Management
- Extensive experience from top level financial position
HILDE C. TALSETH
- Director Sustainability & Innovation, Norsk Kylling AS
- MBA Strategy & Management, Norwegian School of Economics (NHH)
- Extensive leadership experience and board memberships.
- Former CEO at Orkla Investments
- Business Administration, Norwegian School of Economics (NHH)
- Board membership in a number of boards, including Borregaard Industries Ltd., Jotun AS and Saudafaldene AS.
HEGE RIVEDAL ØDEGAARD
- Director Quality & Sustainability Denofa
- Biochemical laboratory Scientist
- MSc Food Scientist
HANS MARTIN KJERNSBÆK
- CFO Denofa AS
- Msc. Business Administration
- Master of Professional Accountancy
- Extensive experience from audit, transactions and advisory in public interest companies
HANS PETTER OLSEN
HEGE RIVEDAL ØDEGAARD
Dir. Quality, Development & Sustainability
HANS JØRGEN TORGERSEN
PER CHRISTIAN OLSEN
Head of Sales & Marketing
in a new industry
Pronofa is already considered a trailblazer for new and sustainable protein production, even outside of Norway.
If Pronofa succeeds in establishing large-scale production for tunicates and BSF over the next few years, it will represent a breakthrough for sustainable circular economy in the Nordics.