UK start-up raises $16m to expand insect mini-farms

UK-based ag-tech start-up Better Origin has raised $16m to help expand its hyperlocal, automated, and easily installed mini-insect farms. The company has created decentralized mini-farms, which take local food waste from supermarkets and convert it into high-quality, sustainable animal feed, removing the need to ship animal feed around the globe.

Its container insect farms recreated the conditions found in nature where food is eaten by insects and upcycled into essential nutrients for other animals to grow. Using AI and automation for the cycle to flourish, Better Origin produces Black Soldier Fly larvae to be fed to the farm’s animals.

The company says its container farm – known as the X1 – can produce the same amount of feed currently produced on 1,500 sq meters of soy plantation, in just 1sq meters.

The start-up signed a deal with Morrisons in December to supply 10 insect min-farms to feed chickens at Morrisons UK free-range egg farms. The deal is set to save 5,737 tons of CO2-equivalent emissions per year – an equivalent to taking 1,240 cars off the road, while also mitigating 1,500 tons of food waste. More partnerships are to be announced in due course.

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