Veolia insect pilot a first of its kind for New Zealand

Two Black Soldier Flies

Insect protein is 100 times less greenhouse gas intensive than protein from cattle, and Veolia New Zealand is launching an insect pilot to confirm the bioconversion of organic by-products into animal feed, thanks to the black soldier fly.

Insect-based bioconversion transforms refuse from the food, beverage and agriculture sectors into proteins for animal feed, by farming edible insect larvae. 

The six month project, co-funded by the Ministry for Primary Industries Sustainable Food and Fibre Futures fund, is being conducted in association with the New Zealand Institute for Plant and Food Research and Massey University. This pilot will help show the many advantages of the black soldier fly and confirm if insect meal is suitable for animal feed and aquaculture.

Veolia already uses this solution in industrial scale facilities in France and Malaysia, where thousands of tonnes of organic by-products are converted into high quality and certified insect meal, insect oil and frass (similar to compost).

During this trial, Veolia is engaging with different manufacturing sectors - from dairies to vegetable and fruit growers, to beverage makers and industrial bakeries - to test many recipes, including by-products from cheese and beer production.

New Zealand’s sustainability challenges include long-term management of organic waste and local supplies for livestock and aquaculture, and this pilot could help by providing a solution using reliable sources of feedstock to address crucial industry issues like quality, sustainability and economics.

Veolia New Zealand’s Country Director Emma Brand said that the pilot will go a long way to helping New Zealand create a truly local circular economy.

“I’m deeply convinced that a bioconversion solution could tick the boxes to answer Aotearoa New Zealand’s goal to be a world leader in the circular economy and organic waste upcycling.

“The black soldier fly is the perfect insect to convert organic by-products into high value proteins. It is a non-invasive species that can be found worldwide and it doesn’t carry diseases.

“Where black soldier flies really excel is their fast growth and reproduction rate - they go from larvae to adult in just 10-12 days, and just one kilogram of the eggs will produce 6 tonnes of larvae.

“Veolia is committed to investing in nature-based solutions. By combating climate change, depolluting and preserving resources, we are always investing to help our customers achieve their ecological transformation goal.”

Ms Brand also affirmed Veolia's commitment to engaging with local communities, and in particular mana whenua, as it takes up the operational responsibilities for the pilot.

An explanatory video on Veolia’s global use of bioconversion can be found here.


Further Reading

Bioconversion maggots

Learn more about bioconversion and our journey is Aotearoa (New Zealand) 

Veolia Operational view through grass paddock

Read more about how Veolia aims to build a more circular and sustainable future

Policy _Website image

Find out the key policy and regulatory highlights from the April - June 2023 quarter. 


Valeria Cheglov, Head of Communications and Public Policy | +61 0438 494 351| [email protected]

Veolia Group aims to become the benchmark company for ecological transformation. Present on five continents with nearly 220,000 employees, the Group designs and deploys useful, practical solutions for the management of water, waste and energy that are contributing to a radical turnaround of the current situation. Through its three complementary activities, Veolia helps to develop access to resources, to preserve available resources and to renew them. In 2022, the Veolia group provided 111 million inhabitants with drinking water and 97 million with sanitation, produced nearly 44 million megawatt hours and recovered 61 million tonnes of waste. Veolia Environment (Paris Euronext: VIE) achieved consolidated revenue of 42.885 billion euros in 2022.