Tesco/WWF sponsored report calculates black soldier fly meal could be more cost-effective

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Needs investment to be competitive.

A study published by the UK’s largest retailer Tesco and the environmental charity WWF has priced black soldier fly larvae below soy protein concentrate and fishmeal prices in just five years’ time.

The Future of Feed report calculated that the total demand for insect meal from the UK’s pig, poultry and salmon sectors could reach the region of 540,000 tonnes a year by 2050.

However, no fly feed producers can yet reach that kind of scale yet. The report called upon the UK government to research the potential and regulatory requirements to provide financial support for industries to do so.

“To secure this future vision for a more diversified and circular UK feed system, and to reach the volumes and price points for insect meal demonstrated as possible by our study, action is required from UK industry and policymakers. The volumes of UK-reared insect meal are currently too low to enable uptake by feed manufacturers. Even though the use of insect meal is currently permitted within aquaculture, volumes cannot increase in the absence of investment, increased demand and enabling policy conditions. Collaboration is therefore required to accelerate growth and realise the potential of the industry,” it was written in the report.

Under these assumptions that all the legislative change and investments are done by 2030, their modelling indicated costs of production to be: GBP 540 per tonne of dry black soldier fly larvae (whole larvae) and GBP 490 per tonne of dry black soldier fly larvae concentrated protein meal (following defatting and processing).

This places the cost of production of black soldier fly meal above the market price of soymeal but below the market price of soy protein concentrate and fishmeal, as used in salmon feeds, priced at around GBP 800–GBP 1,000/tonne and GBP 1,000–GBP 1,300/tonne, respectively.

“One tonne of black soldier fly meal is typically higher in protein than one tonne of soy meal and could potentially be a more cost-effective protein source in the long term. When considering protein content alone, black soldier fly meal can be equivalent to both soy protein concentrate and fishmeal,” the report added.