I founded Hargol Foodtech 6 years ago after being exposed to the world’s protein shortages. The shortage of protein, along with the negative impact of livestock farming on the climate interwined in my mind. In a moment of recollection, I remembered the story I heard from my farming grandparents about the swarms of locusts that attacked their fields. While they were busy battling these grasshoppers and saving the crops, they saw Yemeni Jews collecting the grasshoppers and consuming them. This concept sounded like a good solution.
One of the developing world’s major problems is the availability of superior quality proteins, especially animal-derived proteins. Approximately one billion people in the third world suffer from protein deficiency, which often results in impaired child development, and a variety of other diseases and symptoms. Global demand for protein is expected to double in the coming decades, and existing protein sources are being fully exploited. These practices have a large impact on the environment – through deforestation, depletion of water sources and greenhouse gas emissions.
Hargol Foodtech was established to address this problem. It presents a solution that is healthier for humans and more environmentally friendly to our world. The idea of founding the company stemmed from listening to and understanding the habits of those disadvantaged populations in Africa and Asia, where insects in general, and grasshoppers in particular are considered a national delicacy.
Grasshoppers are the most efficient source of protein that nature produces. They are composed of the best nutritional content naturally and are already being collected by 2.5 billion people around the world. This is done in fields and is severely limited by available quantities and their seasonality.
Hargol Foodtech aims to be the first in the world to develop high quality grasshopper growing capabilities on a regular basis throughout the year. The company strongly focuses on the human and environmental aspects of its operations:
- the high quality of the product and a healthy solution to feed people the world over
- the minimum environmental impact in water consumption, greenhouse gas emissions, land area usage and zero waste produced in the process,
- the treatment of the animals, fully adhering to EU guidelines
- our manufacturing workers often recruited from peripheral areas in Israel and around the world.
Hargol Foodtech was founded by three entrepreneurs, myself (Dror Tamir), Ben Friedman and Hanan Aviv, who each come from a different field but shared a common vision: the opportunity to improve the health of billions of people around the world by improving their diet and at the same time reducing the devastating impact of humans on the environment.
The three founders are the company’s senior management and their shared vision is the leading force in the training of new employees, in collaboration with suppliers and in communicating with our customers, business partners and investors.
The company develops grasshopper breeding capabilities, while ensuring that the entire animal care minimally harms the animals. We place special emphasis on minimizing animal stress levels when performing the harvesting process. This, of course helps our employees feel good about their work and significantly improves the quality of the final product. It has also surprisingly attracted a new customer segment – vegans and vegetarians who are ready to consume grasshoppers when humanely treated.
Transparency is a key value for the company in order to fulfill our founding vision. We work transparently with all our manufacturing chain as well as with investors and customers. In this way, we have harnessed Israeli regulators assistance and advancement of the Company’s activities.
We always introduce the product as it is – protein from grasshoppers, and make sure not to hide it within a mixture of other components. It is important for us to emphasize that this is an animal, like other animal even though this often produces disgust among most consumers in the Western world.
We invest a lot of resources in researching and analyzing our grasshoppers’ nutritional composition, examining exposure to the bacterial infection and researching their health effects to make sure we provide consumers with the highest quality product we can.