Millibeter – Insect farming in Belgium

Millibeter Insect Farming Johan Jacobs
Photo by Karel Duerinckx

Pioneering with insects

“Every problem has hidden in it an opportunity so powerful that it dwarfs the problem” Joseph Sugarman

After working as a diplomat for over 10 years, Johan Jacobs understood that Western society drastically needed to change for it to last. That’s why in 2012 he founded Milibeter and turned a problem into an opportunity.

Is organic waste one of the most valuable raw materials Belgium has to offer? If you ask Johan Jacobs, he might say yes!

:

 

Waste as resource?

When you look at nature, there is no such thing as waste, there’s only nutrients and molecules that can be used to build something new.

Insects are one of the best organisms to help break down organic compounds to it’s basic parts and upcyle. Milibeter therefore specialises in the use of Black Soldier Fly (Hermetia illucens) to turn Belgium’s waste into a resource.

Millibeter Insect Farming black soldier flies

To Arms

Millibeter works with the Black Soldier Fly to convert organic waste into animal fodder  or raw materials for the chemical industry. If all works out, this will help human society diversify in the origin of their resources become more resilient.

Currently, Millibeter transforms around 20-30% of garbage into larvae that contain very useful  materials like fats, proteins and chitin.

Check out the episode below

The 12 steps story of Millibeter

Learn all about Johan Jacobs and his 12 steps for starting up a company growing Black Soldier Flies.

Insects?

They sting, they bite, they annoy us, however, as pollinators they are also of utmost importance to our food production. But there’s more. When we look at their value for this planet’s ecosystems, we see an indispensability we have neglected for too long.

Together with mushrooms, insects are extremely efficient waste recyclers. In that way of paramount importance for the circle of life.

It is therefore pretty incomprehensible that we humans have neglected these organisms for so long. They are key to make an efficient human society without waste. Let’s work with nature and farm insects.

Learn more about the wonderful world of insects on Vertical Farming Academy

The infamous Black Soldier Fly

After researching many insects, Johan Jacobs saw the economic opportunity of growing black soldier flies (BSF). This fly is so interesting because the fly itself does not eat, they only consume in the larvae phase. For that very reason, the larvae have to save all the energy for the fly-phase, and thus get very big. 

The larvae are among the most efficient animals at converting biomass, including fresh manure and food wastes of both animal and vegetable origin. Aside from the protein, fat and Chitin production, fly larvae also produce another valuable resource called frass that can be used as organic fertilizer.

Because it’s still a new industry, the economic importance of BSF  (and other insects) is still relatively small. Yet it can already be stated that this will change drastically.

More about Millibeter

Millibeter remains committed to innovation and acquiring knowledge. Hence, the company grows and evolves fast.

KIKVORS will be making more documentaries about Millibeter in the future. Yet Urban and Vertical Farmers like their knowledge like they like their produce: Fresh. Therefore, to be up to date check out their website and follow them on facebook.