The rapid rise of insect farming is being driven by the growing demand for sustainable alternatives for the production of meat, dairy products, and cattle feed based on high-quality animal proteins. The so-called protein transition is gaining momentum on a global scale, and the demand for insect-based proteins continues to grow.
Insect farming is, in principle, much more efficient and sustainable than the farming of cattle, pigs, and poultry. Insects are 4 to 10 times more efficient in converting nutrients into body mass. In addition, insect larvae feed on a wider range of residual waste streams that are efficiently converted into protein-rich body mass.
Finally, insect farming requires much less space and water, and the emission of greenhouse gases also appears to be lower. In short, an insect farming business offers a sustainable solution for the growing global demand for protein.
Black Soldier Fly farming is presently the most widespread form of insect farming in the world. The Black Soldier Fly is ideally suited for food production due to its rapid production cycle and high concentration of protein. The high percentage of protein in the larvae makes them an ideal source of food for a wide variety of animals.
During the breeding phase, also referred to as the hatchery phase, the eggs deposited by adult Black Soldier Flies are placed in vertically racked containers filled with compost consisting of residual waste streams such as organic food waste. Under completely controlled climate conditions, the eggs hatch very quickly into tiny Black Soldier Fly larvae.
During the production phase, temperature, humidity, and food supply are carefully controlled and optimised for growth of the larvae, which reach their maximum body mass in only 6 days. During this period, the larvae rapidly consume nutrients from the organic waste in order to prepare themselves for the following stage of their life as an adult fly.
When they are ready to be harvested, the larvae consist for 40% to 65% of protein and other essential nutrients for humans and animals. The dried insects are then processed to provide an insect meal that is ready for distribution and further processing.