Insect farming industry headed for exponential growth

Insect farming industry headed for exponential growth.

Insect farming publication, Beta Buzz, was originally launched by Beta Bugs Ltd in November 2021 due to the rise in interest and demand for the insect farming industry. This is crucial, because to avert the impending climate crisis and ensure the future sustainability of our food systems, as many players as possible operating in the field are needed. 

Why Investors and Entrepreneurs Alike are Paying Close Attention to the Insect Farming Industry

Novel proteins derived from insects are gaining traction among investors and entrepreneurs for their attractive environmental and economic business models. Unlike traditional livestock, insects require less land, water and feed to grow. They are also a rich source of essential amino acids, vitamins, and minerals and, in some cases, like aquaculture, they are a more natural ingredient in diets than vegetable counterparts.

Among insect proteins, those derived from Black Soldier Flies (BSFs), scientifically known as Hermetia Illucens, are emerging as one of the most interesting to  institutional investors. The concept of insect farming is (theoretically) simple–breed, rear and harvest insects to process them into end-products for the wider agri/aqua food chain, including feed, pet food and human nutrition products.

Grabbing the attention of sustainability-minded investors is the circularity of BSF business models. BSF can be fed organic waste from various sources, helping to address a global food waste issue. The UN’s Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) estimates around USD 400m per year of food, or 14% of global food production, is wasted from harvest to shelves. Consumers waste another 17% of food after retail purchase, according to UNEP’s food waste report.

How the Black Soldier Fly is Tackling Environmental Issues Head On

In a world where 40% of the food, on average, goes to landfills or into other waste streams, BSF provides an attractive solution to the problem. BSF can be fed onsite waste from other food processes, recycling organic waste into high-value end-products used by the same industries to produce other products, minimizing the use of new raw materials.

BSF has applications in aquaculture, terrestrial protein, pet food, human supplements, biopesticides and pharmaceuticals. These sectors, which need to reduce unsustainable inputs, have well-established, high-volume demand end markets with attractive margins for top-quality proteins.

Insect Farming Industry Key Players 

Beta Bugs Ltd realized that there was a need for a publication such as Beta Buzz to be able to bring the insect farming industry together and ensure accessibility for those looking to enter this rapidly developing market. The previous issues of Beta Buzz were greatly received and welcomed by the insect farming and agri-food industry, being hailed as valuable resources for anyone involved or interested in the sector. Following on from the response of the first two issues of Beta Buzz, the third issue was created to continue bridging the gap between businesses and customers to streamline the process and ensure a clear route to market for interested parties. Therefore, Beta Buzz #3 maintains its place in the industry by continuing to drive the message further afield, raising awareness of relevant technology and service providers in the insect farming value chain.

Tying in to the above, it was also important to feature industry perspectives within Beta Buzz #3 from a consumer facing angle from the likes of retail giant Tesco, highlighting how they see insect farming from a feed sustainability angle, which will help to reduce their carbon footprint within the retail supply chain. 

As a result of the industry’s efforts to date, insect farming has become increasingly accessible, with multiple turnkey solutions now available, removing the need for spending time in extensive R&D and planning phases. As a result, a new generation of operators and insect farmers will enter the market to compete in supplying current and future demand for insect protein.

“With the latest report by the IPCC, we now know that we need to move even faster than before if we want to minimize the damage done to our planet. As an industry, we need to make insect protein part of everyone’s everyday life,” says Thomas Farrugia, CEO of Beta Bugs Ltd.

Beta Bugs Ltd are an insect genetics company developing and distributing black soldier fly breeds to the insect farming sector. Founded in 2017 by Thomas Farrugia, the company is based at the Easter Bush Campus, a world-leading agri-food research, work and study environment, just outside of Edinburgh, where it works on unlocking and disseminating the full genetic potential of insect farming.

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