Beta Bugs at Low Carbon Agriculture 2022
The team at Beta Bugs were delighted to attend the Low Carbon Agriculture 2022 show on 8-9th March at the NAEC, Stoneleigh. Low Carbon Agriculture 2022 is a vibrant new business event for forward thinking farmers, landowners and industry operators. The event explored ways to address climate change through the generation of renewable energy, the implementation of low carbon technology and best practice in both carbon and environmental land management.
The Low Carbon Agriculture show included 4 dynamic, content-led Expos, with leading technology and service suppliers accompanied by an energy storage theatre, innovations in farm technology and a cutting edge conference and workshop programme, in which key industry figures provided insight and practical guidance on achieving Net Zero and creating a profitable and sustainable future for agricultural and rural communities. The event was a great place for the team at Beta Bugs to educate guests on the world of insect farming, as to many the industry is still very new.
The Insect Farming Supply Chain
Insect farming is a global industry and although there are variations on the theme according to region and species, the concept itself is very simple – farm insects and then process them into end products which are typically linked up the wider agri-food chain.
Although this sounds simple, like all other production operations, there are inherent challenges when it comes to scaling. This is where the insect farming industry is now entering a new stage of its’ development – specialization and segmentation. Within our industry, there is a growing ecosystem of specialized companies that offer solutions that enable insect farmers to focus on what they do best: production.
Working with other companies is not an alien concept in agri-food and other industries, especially when it’s horizontally segmented – after all, how many farmers build their own tractors?
By working with partners that are able to provide the right solutions, producers can scale faster, unlock efficiencies and produce a better price, rather than having to spend time and resource re-inventing the wheel.
How Forward-Thinking Farmers Can Implement Insect Farming Into Their Processes
The best way for farmers to leverage insect farming is to become an insect farmer. By working with established technology and egg or neonate suppliers, farmers can now produce insects at a range of scales – be it small-scale systems (12 tonne of live larvae/year) that produce larvae for on-farm usage or supplying neighbouring farms, or large scale facilities (1000+ tonne of insect meal per year) that will supply animal feed manufacturers. Both these routes allow farmers to diversify their operations in a low-carbon way.
Farmers can also use agricultural product that has not been taken up by the supply chain as as a substrate for growing insects on, turning a potential waste stream into a circular protein source.
Lastly, if not possible to diversify into the sector, farmers can also work with a supplier of insects to use them within their feeding regime.
How Insect Farming Benefits the Environment
Many businesses and individuals are now working with or joining the insect farming sector as it becomes more readily accessible. In doing so, they are able to help reduce the immense amount of food waste going to landfill – which in the UK alone amounts to 9.5 million tonnes per year. Farmers can also reduce a wide range of agricultural wastes on-site by feeding it to the Black Soldier Fly. Using these locally produced insects reduces the need for using soy in animal feed. While growing soy requires precious resources like land and water, black soldier fly have been shown to produce a minimum of 150x more protein per hectare, whilst requiring less water.
The relationship between the climate and our food is interdependent. As the food chain moves towards reducing its significant carbon footprint (16.5% of Global GHG emissions) through localised food and feed production, by farming insects we can create a more resilient, circular, and sustainable food system that preserves biodiversity and helps the agri-food sector reach net zero. As regulations are further relaxed, it will also be possible for farmers to use insect farms to process manure slurries.
The team at Beta Bugs thoroughly enjoyed the event and met some engaging and interesting people from different sectors such as farming and waste management. We enjoyed telling our story and educating guests on the innovative and interesting world of insect farming. Have a look through some of our images from the event below;
Low Carbon Agriculture 2022
If you would like to know more about Beta Bugs or have some questions about insect farming, please visit our product page or get in touch with us at firstname.lastname@example.org
Beta Bugs will also be showcasing at the British Pig & Poultry Fair so if you missed us at Low Carbon Agriculture 2022, please come and visit us at our next event at the NAEC, Stoneleigh on the 10th and 11th May.