There is something very special going on down in Corio, Victoria.
Intrigued by the powers of an amazing insect, the Black Soldier fly, Andrew Porter, a horticulturist by trade, researched how the fly’s larvae could be utilised to process organic waste. After conducting an initial, successful experiment at home in his bathroom, he expanded the program at a pilot facility in Corio. Now, on a seven acre site, Andrew and his partners are into stage one of development, aided by their new Kioti CK4210.
“We divert organic waste from landfill, which reduces CO2 and methane emissions,” says Andrew. “We’re environmentally friendly and a one hundred per cent circular economy. Currently, we work with Deakin University to divert and process all of their organic waste, plus a load of cafes in and around Geelong, and we’re starting to work with the Geelong Football Club. We are also in negotiations with Cleanaway to get access to supermarket waste.
“This is an expanding market; some estimates have it being worth $32 billion by the end of 2025. Seven million tonnes of organic waste goes into landfill in Australia each year alone, so it’s needed. I started with a kick-start grant from the CSIRO to do some research, then halfway through last year I met a company called B-Alternative. They had existing clients and were looking for somewhere to process the waste, so we work in partnership now. They source clients and we do the collecting and processing.”
The business is called BSF Organic. Andrew is keen to impress that it constitutes a viable business model, not simply a research project. Their operations to date have proven the Black Soldier fly bioconversion process has a significant uptick, with great potential for vertical integration. Remarkably, not only does the fly consume organic waste cleanly with no waste, but the process also generates value add products.
“The Black Soldier fly is an amazing little critter,” says Andrew. “Let me start with my favourite statistic: 2.5 grams of Black Soldier fly eggs will turn into 40,000 grams of protein in four weeks. And to do that, they’ll consume 200,000 grams of organic waste. The process takes place in an environmentally controlled area; the flies hatch in a dedicated breeding room and the environment is artificially created to suit their breeding cycle.
“They hatch from their pupae, lay eggs and die within a three to seven day life cycle. We collect the eggs, take them outside where they turn into larvae and it’s the larvae that have that phenomenal growth rate. The 40,000 grams they turn into at the end of four weeks is at the end of the larvae cycle. The waste comes into the farm, gets ground up, fermented, turned into a liquid and then sent to the larvae, which don’t fly and don’t need to be secured. They sit in their trays and grow fat.”
At the site, Andrew soon realised he would need a versatile tractor for loading and unloading, mowing and moving heavy objects. He initially scoured second-hand listings and became acquainted with a number of makes and models. Uncertain of which tractor to buy, he asked a friend for advice.
“I was talking about what I needed and a mutual friend overheard me and said, ‘Mate, you have to get a Kioti – I’ve just got one and they’re the best tractors ever!’ I looked up Kioti online, went over to Geelong Rural and met Amanda [Davies]. She is amazing. It’s easy to see why she’s the number one female dealer in Australia because she knows her product and she cares about her customers.
“We had a chat and she suggested the CK4210. I said okay – but when can I get it? She looked after us because she understood the urgency. So, we have the forks on front to load and unload trucks at our facility, plus a mulcher because we have seven acres to mow, and we got the front end loader with a bucket as well to move stuff around. Kioti has a wonderful product.”
Perfect for lifestyle farmers and small acreages, Kioti’s compact CK4210 continues to impress. With its heavy duty hydrostatic transmission, low noise Daedong diesel engine and step-through platform, to the high ground clearance and joystick operated front end loader with a standard 4-in-1 bucket, the CK4210 is a genuine workhorse, brilliantly designed, reliable and easy to use.
“All I can say is I love my tractor,” says Andrew. “The whole experience has been incredibly positive; the CK4210 does everything I need it to do. The first vehicle I ever drove was a tractor and I was ploughing fields and carting hay when I was six. But I went to boarding school at 16 and haven’t been on a farm since. Getting this farm and using the Kioti on it has been an absolute joy; it has taken me back to my childhood roots.”
Andrew and his team may well soon need more Kioti tractors. They plan to incorporate a bigger facility and then replicate the concept in similar facilities across Australia. Kioti will be cheering them on.