Belgium gets it very own ‘Insect Valley’


‘Insect Valley’ is to come to the Kempen district, near Geel. Companies, colleges and universities are joining forces in the processing of insects into food and cattle feed, and for use in the chemical, cosmetics and pharmaceuticals industry. Insects can also be very useful when it comes to processing waste.

For some years now KU Leuven and Thomas More College have been researching insects at the technology campus in Geel. Another knowledge institute, VITO (Flemish Institute for Technological Research) is also located nearby. Working in partnership with the insect farm Millibeter, Voka – KvK and the Antwerp Innovation Centre they have taken the initiative to set up an ‘Insect Valley’, also known as ‘Kempen Insect Cluster’. This should allow research into the cultivation and use of insects to reach new levels.

According to researchers insects are the future. Not only as food for people, but also as a sustainable source of raw materials, given the fact they hardly emit any greenhouse gases and they require little water and space. Millibeter hatches out 1 million fly larvae out each week. In doing so this young company is a pioneer in Europe. The larvae are fed with residual waste before becoming sustainable food for cows, chickens and fish. The company also extracts fats from the larvae as a basis for making soap.