Big Cricket Solutions aims to increase profitability and decrease costs for insect farmers, build a pipeline to provide a safe and reliable supply chain, and scale the industry to support widespread adoption of insects for food, feed, and fertilizer.
To achieve this mission, we focus on four strategies:
- Help farmers start up with fewer mistakes
- Help existing farmers scale
- Build the infrastructure of insects for human use
- Advocate for common sense
Help farmers start up with fewer mistakes
No matter what your farming background is, you’re going to make mistakes when you start building your insect farm. Maybe you bought a kit or maybe you found DIY instructions online. You’re going to have questions, you’re going to run into problems that don’t have easy solutions, and you’ll be tempted to pursue expensive solutions that may not be the best in the long run.
For example, one popular, but misguided solution in cricket farming is the Ferris Wheel for Crickets. New farmers looking to maximize the vertical space in their growing area quickly realize that stacking cricket trays causes a heat problem. Each layer of crickets generates heat, and heat rises, so after two or three levels, the top level of crickets start dying from heat. To solve this, many farmers’ minds jump immediately to the concept of a Ferris Wheel for Crickets! If each layer was constantly rotating, you could maximize vertical space and stabilize the temperature for each layer.
In theory, it sounds great. But in practice, a Ferris Wheel for Crickets involves a lot of moving parts, meaning something is bound to break, and you’re going to spill crickets all over the place. But you can waste a lot of time and money on the Ferris Wheel for Crickets idea before realizing it isn’t feasible.
There are way better solutions to the problem of vertical stacking. For starters, if you’re that strapped for horizontal space, you’re probably trying to farm in a place where the cost per square foot is not conducive to success. Cricket farming in Silicon Valley doesn’t work! Second, the heart of the problem is air circulation and ventilation. So maybe all you need to do is ensure proper spacing between the walls and the breeding trays, and set up a powerful fan.
We’re here to stop you before you go down that road, and steer you toward proven solutions and strategies that won’t waste your time.
Help existing farmers scale
Our guidebooks and knowledgebase are geared toward providing step-by-step instructions to build proven systems for cricket farming at every level. You can lovingly keep a bin of crickets in your dining room. You can’t lovingly keep a shed. Scaling up introduces new challenges, from time management, to staffing issues, to financing, to negotiation with suppliers and buyers.
We’ll help you increase profitability and decrease your operating costs through knowledge sharing, innovation, and collaborative learning. We can identity solutions to problems you don’t even know you have. Your high employee turnover? Maybe they’re quitting because of foot pain, and all you need are anti-fatigue mats in your warehouse. Maybe you’ve landed a letter of intent with Nestle, but you have a long to-do list before you can start selling. No matter how complex your situation, we can help, or we know who to ask.
Build the infrastructure of insects for human use
Before we’ll see widespread adoption of insects for feed and fertilizer in the U.S., we need better regulatory support. To achieve regulatory support, we need the backing of large-scale food suppliers. And to win over those allies, we need to build up the supply chain to handle the needs of major buyers. That’s why Big Cricket Solutions takes on projects designed to grow the industry as a whole, collaborates with key partners in agricultural reform, and lobbies organizations like the American Association of Feed Control Officers to add insects and insect-derived meals to product catalogs for fish and poultry.
Advocate for common sense
We believe that insect farming can alleviate many problems related to food security, environmental impact of raising livestock, and economic development all over the world.
But it’s not for everyone. You can grow bugs nearly anywhere, but not in the same way. There are no one-size-fits-all solutions. What works in Denmark doesn’t always translate to Uganda. Repurposing a shipping container into a bug farm might make sense if land or warehouse space is expensive, but if you live in an agricultural community where your cost per square foot is minimal, your best solution might be a sprawling array of outdoor nets.
We support common sense approaches to insect farming. We look for local solutions to local problems. We advocate for farmers and community developers to think about bugs as one of many options. They’re not always the right answer, and when we don’t believe it’s a good choice for you, your climate, your city, or your goals, we’ll tell you.