Fully Circular Insect Farming

The global food system is one of the most important challenges in the struggle toward sustainability. Soils and oceans are becoming more arid to satisfy our insatiable appetite for protein. New sources of protein are desperately needed to reduce the pressure on the environment. The insect is a highly promising production animal. Circular Insect Farming can provide a large part of the food protein needs of humans and animals. Proteins are an essential building block for the growth and health of humans and animals. To feed the world’s population now and in the future, we need more proteins. At the same time, we face the challenge of reducing the pressure on the environment. In addition, chemical fertilization is out of date. The recent nitrogen crisis made this all the more clear.

Larvae of the black soldier fly are a source of raw materials

Protein is mainly obtained by humans from food crops such as soy, fish, chicken and other animal species. Insects are very suitable as a replacement for non-sustainable protein sources such as soy and fishmeal in animal feed. This in turn makes fish and chicken more sustainable. On top of that, many insects are naturally “waste pickers. Insects see our enormous mountain of food waste as nectar. Worldwide, that mountain amounts to more than 1 billion tons annually, with at least 100 million tons of protein trapped in it. Circular insect farming thrives on these waste streams and converts them back into protein. This is better than other ways of recycling such as composting, fermentation or using food scraps as fertilizer. Natural and circular proteins from insects can reduce the carbon footprint of feed for fish, chickens and other animals. After all, these eat insects in nature. Especially when they are young and need to grow and develop quickly.

Black Soldier fly frass

Insects as a new source of protein thus help to counteract overfishing in oceans and forest clearing for soy cultivation. Our Dutch partners are global leaders in circular insect farming. Proteins and fats are sustainably produced from larvae of the black soldier fly. These proteins and fats are used as ingredients in animal feed and fish feed. The insects are fed with vegetable residues from the environment and are then used in various animal feed applications. In this way the food cycle closes. Food residues are reused and returned to the food chain in a high-quality manner.

Frassor makes insect cultivation completely circular by converting remaining skins and excrement into high-quality fertilizer. This circularity also fits in with the policy of LNV minister Schouten. “The future of agriculture is determined by cycles. What we take from nature, soil and water, we also give back. The Netherlands now plays a leading role worldwide when it comes to innovation and development of the insect sector.

Black soldier fly - Frass
Black soldier fly

Insect farming is fully circular

The beauty of insects is that in addition to being a sustainable, they are also a very high quality protein source. The larvae of the black sol- date fly are rich in protein and fat. These are important ingredients in animal feed. The larvae are reared under ideal climate conditions with the right temperature, humidity and nutrients to grow well. The larvae are harvested before they pupate into flies. The byproduct of skins and excrement are converted into fertilizer by frassor. ‘Frassor’ is a chitin-rich fertilizer released during the breeding of the insects. Chitin is considered a food source for various groups of positive microorganisms and therefore stimulates plant and soil resilience. This means that insect cultivation is completely circular.

larvae of the black soldier fly

Driven by innovation

Circular insect farming is a completely new industry so innovation really starts from scratch, everything still needs to be invented. We are proud to work with the absolute frontrunner in this market. Producing insects is a lot more sustainable than producing other animal protein. This is because insects require little space and water during production. They grow quickly and efficiently on organic waste streams without producing methane. By replacing part of a currently common source of protein with insects, food becomes more sustainable. Given the enormous potential, it looks like a sustainable future awaits insect farming on a global scale.