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02.09.2019 Mealworms now part of Bühler’s insect portfolio

Bühler, Uzwil, Switzerland, reports that livestock production – especially the pig industry – is under enormous pressure because already tight margins continue to decline – in particular in Europe. While retail prices for pork have remained broadly stable, farm gate prices for pigs have plunged to levels where many producers are struggling to break even. Furthermore, production costs are on the rise, since grain prices have increased substantially, and feed makes up 75% of the cost to produce pig meat. That is why the number of pig producers, who have already destocked or are leaving the industry completely, is rising. These producers are now looking for alternative but more sustainable businesses, in which they can leverage their animal farming skills.

A first project has been started in the Netherlands with a farmer who already worked on the concept of producing yellow mealworm in an old pig farm. Bühler will now support the project and design, installation and commissioning of a complete mealworm production plant in a 2300 square-metre facility. “With this project we will set the bar on modularised mealworm production in an automated and hygienic way,” said Andreas Aepli, CEO of Bühler Insect Technology Solutions “Our technological solutions can be readily integrated into existing farms, but larger-scale facilities can also be realised. Once the first plant is completed and producing profitably in the Netherlands, it will offer livestock farmers an alternative option for gaining a sustainable business with attractive margins”.

The yellow mealworm offers great nutritional value which includes proteins, fatty acids, vitamins, minerals, and dietary fibres. Mealworms can grow on, for instance, wheat bran and rice husks, by-products that many existing Bühler customers produce and from which they could derive increased value.



Andreas Aepli, CEO, Bühler Insect Technology Solutions

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