A simple question that may seem like a no-brainer or not worth pondering, but there perhaps lies a small surprise within.
Are we operating in the B2B or B2C space?
Is manna insect enabling BSF production for individual people or for companies?
Having had a few personal revelations lately on the philosophy and vision that we have at Manna Insect – I mean really, really deep in our core, not just what we state as a brief outlining with a couple of sentences in our presentations – I’ve also wondered are we really operating in the B2B or B2C space. Let’s scratch the surface a little bit.
In reality every company that operates in the insect industry and deals with the technology side of things, is assumed to be enabling or producing the rearing containers, factories, egg traps, pre- or post-processing equipment and whatnot to B2B customers, right?
Only when you operate with the production itself and the main outcome is related to edible insects or producing frass as a fertilizer, the line between B2B and B2C start becoming a bit blurry at times.
That is, do you sell your products to household end users / consumers directly, or do you sell your products to another organisation that produces or distributes the end product to the consumer.
I dare to claim we’re different. Perhaps a whole new species altogether in this space, unique with our approach and mentality, and the vision that lies beneath this all. Here’s why.
Who does Manna Insect sell to?
Some of our clients ask us to provide them consulting for their Black Soldier Fly production plans, some ask us to create a project to set up pilot production, some need help in testing their organic waste for the perfect recipe, and some want us to train them or their personnel to rear or breed insects, but most of our clients buy actual BSF rearing and breeding units, our climatized and AI-controlled containers. We identify ourselves mostly as an agri-deeptech company.
Some of our customers are multi-billion dollar turnover global megacorps, while some are startups that need our production units to get them up and running with whatever BSF-related production plans, but many are just individual people wanting to make either a new full-time job for themselves or a side hustle that maybe one day will turn into actual entrepreneurship.
And we’re glad to serve them all, no matter if the need is for production capacity or consultation, whether the case is for a global bluechip in Japan, chicken farmer in Finland, fish farm in Rwanda, plantation in Colombia or a restaurant in the Caribbean. Even if we mostly talk about containers and scalable-mobile-decentralized BSF production, we do quite a few different things.
And more specifically insect farmers, who could produce soy-free and nutritious animal feed and fertilizer for more than ten million animal farmers, supporting sustainable food production at global level, enabling communities to create local circular food ecosystems and supporting local economical growth in a sustainable way. That’s it. At the very core of Manna Insect, is a desire to make a positive impact to the world, and in more than one way.
Sustainability and responsibility – concrete action or just hot air and waving hands
We actually just had a discussion in London with a United Nations representative, discussing about the global SDGs – Sustainable Development Goals – and realized that we actually are knee-deep in quite a few of them, either directly or indirectly;
SDG 1: no poverty
SDG 2: zero hunger
SDG 3: good health and well being
SDG 5: gender equality
SDG 6: clean water and sanitation
SDG 8: decent work and economic growth
SDG 9: industry, innovation and infrastructure
SDG 10: reduced inequalites
SDG 11: sustainable cities and communities
SDG 12: responsible consumption and production
SDG 13: climate action
SDG 14: life below water
SDG 15: life on land
SDG 17: partnerships for the goals
We just don’t talk about these as such, there’s already too much talk and too little action towards these goals as it is, and we want to be more on the action side of things. It doesn’t mean the goals aren’t important or not worth talking about, but we’ve seen this very closely recently, so much talk and using hypewords like ”circular economy” or ”climate change” in just about every industry and every kind of company, even when these have nothing to do with their actual work or actions at all.
It sometimes feels more like ”green-washing” than anything real at all. So, less talk, more action, more sharing of knowledge, more educating of people about these opportunities, and more concrete real life examples, not just talk.
We call it responsibility.
And we take this responsibility seriously. We’ve walked the walk, and continue to do so.
We’ve held free BSF and insect industry webinars throughout the spring, which by the way continue in August again with Season 2. We share our knowledge also in the form of articles and news on Linkedin and our website, we’ve started publishing content on Instagram and YouTube and will put more effort on those later in 2023. We also publish a newsletter, we join on- and offline events, and we have reference farms in Finland and India where people can actually visit the rearing facilities, and we hope to open a reference farm also in East Africa later this year.
On top of that, we’re about to start our own BSF Academy, where individuals or insect company employees can come to learn about rearing and breeding Black Soldier Fly and how to make business out of it. We’re always looking for new ways to contribute to the knowledge sharing and educating people about this industry.
And related to that, we have a surprise for you coming out in the autumn…
B2B or B2C, which is it?
Even if you are a B2B company – selling mostly to other businesses – eventually all businesses are human-2-human businesses. Even in that billion dollar megacorp, there are real people, individuals, who make the decisions, and their personal opinions, experiences, values, and many other things influence the decision making. At the end of the day, you always have to convince that one person to either decide to play with you or not, or should I say to believe in you or not.
All businesses are people businesses.
All businesses are trust businesses.
We used to identify ourselves as a B2B company, thinking that the big opportunity with rearing insects is in upcycling tens of tons of organic waste per month and selling vast amounts of insect protein and frass to other companies in bulk.
But as we’ve learned more about the insect industry, the problems it faces and the problems it is trying to solve, the competition that comes from soybean, from (over-)fishing raw material for fishmeal, the lack of or poorness of relevant infrastructure, the protectionist governments that make it hard to move equipment or sell products to other countries, legislative issues, lack of funds and support to get started, and so much more, our minds have changed.
What we’ve learned from having close to 500 calls and Teams meetings in the last couple of years all around the world, is that the big opportunity and the key to success for the whole insect industry is all about empowering the individual people and local communities to build themselves an income opportunity, to employ themselves and their families, using local waste and upcycling it to be fed to local fish, chicken or pigs, using the frass as a local fertilizer, and thru that supporting local food ecosystems and local entrepreneurship.
The key to success for the whole insect industry is all about empowering the individual people and local communities to build themselves an income opportunity with insects
There will be huge global bluechips entering the insect arena, some of the small players will become big, and for example the petfood industry could well become a major (end) user of insects in replacing soy with insect protein, and that’s totally fine. But it’s a clear fact, that there can only be so many big players in the industry at the same time, whereas there can be millions of individual insect farmers and small companies operating all around the world, building a local income opportunity for themselves.
All it needs is a little push to the right direction. Insect farming doesn’t need huge capital investments for you to get started.
This may not be a ”sexy” opinion and ideology in an industry where some organisations have raised tens or even hundreds of millions of dollars / euros to build huge factories for insect rearing and processing, but this is what we believe in, and what we hope to be heading for – enabling a million insect farmers to make themselves an income with insects.
The final response: we are in both B2B and B2C business areas, but our main focus is on getting those B2C customers to become B2B customers, converting themselves from Consumers to Businesses.
Your thoughts? Are you with us in this?
Gentle reminder, remember to follow Manna Insect’s Linkedin company page, we share lots of insect industry news, research, case studies, free tips and tricks on rearing and breeding especially Black Soldier Fly, and more.