Farming News - Top 3 reasons why you need flies in your business

Top 3 reasons why you need flies in your business

By Larry Kotch, Co-Founder and CCO  of Flybox (

Weather changes, rising input and production costs, uncertain output values, and calls for sustainable practices are putting UK farmers under increasing pressure.

One option that provides a variety of solutions is for farmers to integrate a fly farm as part of their agricultural operations. Incorporating a fly farm into an existing farm’s practices can provide several advantages and address specific challenges farmers are facing today.

Product innovation

There are many valid reasons farmers might consider starting a fly farm. Insect larvae from a fly farm is a nutritious and sustainable protein source for livestock, poultry, and aquaculture, which reduces the reliance on conventional feed sources, such as soy or fishmeal. For farmers interested in planet-friendly agribusiness models, using insects in feed can enrich their livestock products and confer many health benefits to the animals,

Fly farming also helps to offset waste management expenses, as fly farms are efficient in processing organic waste materials, such as crop residues, manure, and food scraps, into valuable insect biomass. This helps farmers to manage waste on-site and reduces the need for waste disposal, while also contributing to more sustainable farming.

And, because insects like black soldier fly larvae are excellent at breaking down organic matter and recycling nutrients, the insect waste (frass) produced can be used as a nutrient-rich fertiliser to enhance soil fertility and improve crop yields.

Undoubtedly fly farms play a key role in circular economy models, where organic waste is converted into valuable resources, closing the loop on waste disposal and resource utilisation, and bringing back into the system food that otherwise would be wasted or sent to landfill.

Promotes sustainability

Fly farms help farmers align with sustainable practices by reducing waste, conserving resources, and promoting circular economy principles. Additionally, the nutrient-rich frass produced by fly larvae can aid in improving soil structure and microbial activity, leading to healthier and more productive soils. Water retention is another benefit, as insect farming, including fly farms, generally requires less water than conventional livestock production.

These benefits can all enhance a farm's reputation and appeal to environmentally conscious consumers. There is a growing awareness among the public that unsustainable practices have serious impacts on people and the environment, and a rising number of consumers are demanding sustainably farmed options.

People are increasingly want to make the right spending choices to live a healthier and more sustainable life - by adopting insect farming technology, a farmer demonstrates a commitment to innovation and adaptation to changing agricultural practices.

According to the World Health Organisation (WHO), this need for sustainable resource management within the agricultural sector is increasingly urgent, with WHO stating that “the how and where we produce food is one of the most important conservation issues of the 21st century”.

Boosting revenue and resilience

Incorporating a fly farm can help to diversify a farmer's income stream, as insect-based products like protein-rich feed or fertiliser can be sold, adding a new revenue source to an existing agricultural business. And because fly farms require relatively little space, water, and feed compared to traditional livestock farming, their resource efficiency makes them a viable solution for protein production, especially in areas with limited resources.

Finally, fly farming can help a farmer build resilience in the face of unpredictable climate change. By diversifying feed sources and optimising nutrient recycling, farmers can enhance the resilience of their operations to climate change and potential disruptions in feed supply chains. Fly farms also contribute to localised food systems by producing protein and feed ingredients locally. This reduces the need to rely on distant supply chains and supports community resilience.

Starting and managing a fly farm requires planning and commitment, but it undoubtedly offers farmers a range of benefits that align with modern sustainable and environmentally conscious agricultural practices.