Innovation That Matters

Better Origin has developed AI-powered mini-farms that produce animal feed on-site | Photo source Better Origin

AI-powered insect mini-farms help repair the food chain

Agriculture & Energy

The microfarms convert supermarket waste into high-quality, sustainable animal feed

Spotted: In a world where the population is ever-growing and the demand for food is constantly increasing, it’s becoming more and more important to find sustainable and secure ways to feed everyone. That’s where UK-based agritech startup Better Origin comes in. The company’s aim is to take the food supply chain back to its roots—local and sustainable—using their innovative insect microfarms.

Founded in 2019, by CEO Fotis Fotiadis and CSO Miha Pipan, Better Origin has recently raised €14.6 million in a Series A funding round. The company plans to utilise the money to extend its insect mini-farms, which convert waste from supermarkets into long-lasting animal feed. In doing so, they hope to create a more secure and sustainable food system that can feed the growing population without putting strain on the planet.

These mini-farms produce high-quality protein for livestock on-site at farms. Better Origin develops black soldier fly larvae that are then fed to the farm animals. This process eliminates the need to ship animal feed across the planet, reducing carbon emissions and addressing security concerns inherent in the food supply chain.

Insect farms replicate natural environments where food consumed by insects is converted into essential nutrients that sustain other organisms in the food chain. Artificial intelligence (AI) and automation are used to create the optimum conditions for this process.

The company can produce its insect feed at a lower cost than soy-based animal feed. This is because food waste is used as a raw material, which not only puts the waste to good use – it also helps to reduce farmers’ feed costs.

Better Origin will be focusing on the poultry industry first, signing a contract with Morrisons last year to provide 10 insect mini-farms to feed chickens at Morrisons’ free-range egg farms. 

Better Origin is not the only company exploring the potential of insect protein. At Springwise, we have spotted insect protein innovations in South Africa, Spain, and France.

Written By: Katrina Lane



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