Insect farming – Scottish not-for-profit wants to show you how

By Jane Byrne contact

- Last updated on GMT

© InnovaFeed
© InnovaFeed

Related tags: insect farming, Protein, pigs, Poultry

Zero Waste Scotland wants to educate the market about the potential of insect farming for feed and other sectors. It is running a series of online events around that objective this month.

The digital events are suitable for those with an interest in insect farming to existing food producers looking to diversify to entrepreneurs with an eye for innovation, said the not-for-profit environmental organization, which is funded by the Scottish Government and European Regional Development Fund.

The first online event, An introduction to the insect sector​, will take place on Tuesday, November 17. 

Two further sessions, The Future of Food​ – Exploring the benefits of a strategic approach to protein production through advancing the circular bioeconomy,​ will follow on November 19 and November 26. These will be aimed at policy makers, agriculture and aquaculture stakeholders, agri-food specialists, food and drink stakeholders, academics and students.

“Insects could play a valuable role as an alternative feedstock for fish, poultry and pigs – as well as helping us add value to some of the food waste generated in Scotland,”​ commented Zero Waste Scotland.

The webinars are being run in conjunction with the Dutch group, NGN, under the EU project ValuSect. Established in 2012 in the Netherlands, NGN is a front-runner in the insect industry, cooperating with rearers, knowledge institutes, governments and consumers. It provides practical and theoretical training for insect rearing, as well as strategic advice, quality handbooks and project work.

All events will be free but limited and hosted online, said Zero Waste Scotland. It is hoping to build on the success of an earlier event in 2019, as well the  “significant interest”​ in its recent publication, Insect farming – A how to guide​.

UK insect research consortium

Only last month FeedNavigator ​reported on how the feed insect revolution would appear to be really taking off in the UK. We had already documented several research-based insect protein acceleration projects in that market in the months prior but October saw UK insect protein producer, Entocycle, announce the receipt of a £10m funding package​ from the UK government’s Industrial Strategy Challenge Fund (ISCF) to help support the construction of the UK’s first large-scale industrial demonstrator insect farm.

A research consortium, led by that insect protein innovator, is aiming to deliver a complete demonstrator system for the conversion of food waste into insect-based animal feed and biofertiliser. It will also look to prove that the farming of BSF flies is economically viable, low carbon, and scalable in the UK, while validating its safety and efficacy. 

The project involves a range of organizations from different sectors, including the University of Stirling’s Institute of Aquaculture, Cooke Aquaculture Scotland, and the Scottish Aquaculture Innovation Centre (SAIC).  The University of Warwick, Durham University, Tesco, other insect producers, Beta Bugs Ltd and Better Origin, as well as AB Agri Ltd, ISCF Future Food Production Systems, Fera Science Ltd, and Insect Technology Group UK, are also supporting its delivery.

By 2040, the consortium intends to establish the UK as an international center of excellence for BSF farming and the development of related technologies. It aims to deliver more than 100 sites internationally and create 3,300 jobs in the UK.

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