How will the ZeaKal and Perdue Agribusiness Collaboration help soybean farmers?
The demand for vegetable oil and protein is at an all-time high. Processors, livestock companies, and food ingredient companies seek more nutritionally dense and sustainable feedstocks. Farmers were historically compensated for their crops’ yield, which compelled R&D to prioritize yield at the expense of nutritional quality. In soybeans, this led to a steady deterioration of protein levels over the past decade.
ZeaKal aims to repair these dislocations with a technology that improves soy oil and protein content without compromising yield. Its NewType business model allows farmers to share in the total value of the crop.
How is ZeaKal’s ‘NewType’ of agriculture model unique?
ZeaKal believes everyone deserves food system that prioritizes enhanced nutrition, and is both sustainable and resilient.
We strive to set higher standards for key crops by enriching the livelihoods of everyone along the ag supply chain.
Starting with Gro Alliance and now with Perdue AgriBusiness, the NewType model delivers multiple products and diversified revenues from a single seed. It creates a more harmonized and valuable supply chain system.
ZeaKal and Perdue Agribusiness Collaboration By the Numbers
In 2022, soybeans surpassed corn as the largest row crop by acreage in the U.S. The protein coproduct is primarily an animal feed with poultry being the largest segment. Historically, soybean oil provided about 33% of the value of a bushel of soybeans. Soybean oil will likely exceed 50% of the bean’s value due to global demand for renewable diesel and aviation fuel. With over 90 million acres of soybeans planted in 2022, the improved oil and protein from PhotoSeed is expected to add ~$6B in value for the crop.
Perdue AgriBusiness handles approximately 3 million acres’ worth of soybeans. As both a soybean processor and leading poultry producer, elevating the oil and protein content of soybeans is critical.
Han Chen, co-founder and CEO of ZeaKal, said: “As we set out to bring value to the entire food system, we couldn’t ask for a better partner and first customer than Perdue AgriBusiness. With operations spanning the entire soy value chain, Perdue can uniquely capture the full value of PhotoSeed. Together, we can deliver higher value crops with broad benefits accruing to growers, consumers, and everyone in between.”
Perry Aulie, senior vice president of Value-Added Products for Perdue AgriBusiness, said: “As we evaluated our supply chain, it became clear that moving upstream to access better seed genetics could improve value in ways other solutions could not. As PhotoSeed soy develops, we expect it will be transformative for Perdue across soy processing and specialty oils, while improving feed quality. Together with our farmers, we work towards delivering better carbon capture and overall nutritional composition using the power of the sun.”
Bruce Stewart Brown, senior vice president of Technical Services and Innovation for Perdue Farms, said, “Feed and nutritional density play a key role in overall animal health and productivity, starting with adequate protein. I am excited about how this project aligns with our commitment of using the highest quality feed ingredients to produce the highest quality, best-tasting chickens while doing good for our planet.”