Is insect farming better the Beta way?

While some analysts feel that the vertical farming bubble has burst, US mealworm producer Beta Hatch believes that there’s scope for a more subtle approach to indoor insect production.

Founded in 2015 by PhD entomologist Virginia Emery, Seattle-based Beta Hatch opened its 50,000-square-foot flagship operation in Cashmere, Washington, in July 2022 – the largest mealworm production facility for animal feed in North America.

Driven by her passion and expertise as an entomologist, Emery launched Beta Hatch following a PhD at UC Berkeley and a stint as an insect production consultant.

“There were few scientists involved in the production of insects and few people that truly understood the crop. At Beta Hatch, we differentiate by applying a biology-led approach. Insect farming is 50/50 animal husbandry and processing. We need to have expertise in both in order to scale,” she explains.

Led by a few large-scale insect producers with myriad smaller players, huge volumes of capital and resources have been flowing into the production and commercialization of large monoculture insect crops, with black soldier flies and yellow mealworm dominating the majority of production for the protein meal market. However, the insect industry is struggling with high costs and scalability.


Publication date:

Receive the daily newsletter in your email for free | Click here

Other news in this sector:

Sign up for our daily Newsletter and stay up to date with all the latest news!

Subscribe I am already a subscriber

You are using software which is blocking our advertisements (adblocker).

As we provide the news for free, we are relying on revenues from our banners. So please disable your adblocker and reload the page to continue using this site.

Click here for a guide on disabling your adblocker.