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BÜHLER : An Insight into Running a Successful Insect Plant



Bühler gives us an insight into the first step to running a successful insect plant


If you aim to operate an insect plant, thorough planning is key. Only the consideration of all key aspects will result in a realistic business plan that, in turn, will lead to a project with no unpleasant surprises. Based on the experience of building two large-scale insect plants and the involvement in several plannings, Bühler want to share their learnings and the key factors to consider for achieving a successful project.

You might ask yourself, what do I need to do to become a thriving insect producer? From the business idea to the commercial operation, you will need to go through three main phases:

  1. Planning aims to get to a project with a business case that triggers plant investment.
  2. Execution covers the implementation of a plant ready to start operation.
  3. Operation starts with the ramp-up of production to finally achieve the commercial stage.


Buhler rearing

Since insects are an emerging business with only a few years of track record, the planning phase is very crucial. Without proper planning, the likelihood of secure funding for the plant is reduced. There are three main aspects to consider in the planning phase: Plant location, Input materials, and product application markets.


Talking about a specific plant location makes planning much easier because the project gets tangible and allows to address specific questions:

  • Is there an existing building or will the plant be built on a greenfield?
  • Which utilities are available?
  • Which organic residues can be sourced in the region?

The answers to these questions allow an accurate elaboration of important business case figures.


Input materials include feedstock and seedstock. There are various organic sources that can be used as feedstock for insects. However, in the end it is crucial to have a feed recipe that is year-round available and covers the nutritional requirements of the insects to ensure fast growth with high yields. For seedstock make-or-buy options are available. Defining the suitable seedstock strategy depends on many factors and needs to be evaluated for each project individually.

Buhler's technology scope



Insects can be turned into various products such as whole insect flour, frozen puree, protein meal and lipids. To limit the insect processing options, it is necessary to specify the target product application markets. Every market presents a different challenge due to different requirements in regards product shelf-life, safety measure, and packaging type and size to name a few. But most importantly, the target market will determine the sales price for the insect products and therefore has a major impact on the final business case.

This means that the planning phase should result in:

  1. selecting a suitable location
  2. securing sufficient and suitable feedstock
  3. establish offtake agreements for products that meet the market requirements.


With these inputs, a complete and detailed business plan can be worked out to secure the project’s required funding. With the funds on hand, you will be able to place the order for the insect plant, which will result in attractive revenues after successful project execution, commissioning and ramp-up of the plant.

Bühler is a technology provider that offers end-to-end solutions for black soldier fly and mealworm plants. The solutions cover feedstock preparation and insect rearing. insect processing and frass handling. Recently Bühler announced partnerships with Entocycle and NRGene to offer more comprehensive solutions with regards to insect breeding. Besides the technological solutions, Bühler established specific services to best support clients in the planning phase, being for clients that just consider entering the insect business as well as for clients that are running a tender for a specific plant project.


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For more information about BÜHLER

please read pages 15-16 of Beta Buzz #4 – The MUST-HAVE Insect Farming Publication

Alternatively, for more information about BÜHLER, please visit the website www.buhlergroup.com