AN insect feed lobbying group has called on the UK government to support the growth of its sector, which it said could help narrow the global ‘protein gap’.
The Insect Biomass Conversion Task and Finish Group (IBCTFG) said the insect for feed industry could transform agri-food productivity in the UK.
The sector could be worth £1 billion and generate an estimated 3,300 direct jobs and 600 indirect jobs in just five years, the group claimed.
The global demand for protein outweighs supply, and introducing insect protein to supplement common alternatives such as fishmeal or soya would assist sustainable aquaculture growth, said the IBCTFG.
The organisation is committed to delivering insect production at scale in the UK and has just released its first UK market report evaluating the case for government support of insect biomass conversion.
Among its recommendations are:
The UK government to issue a national statement of support;
Government and industry to support a central body that could drive rapid sector development for the UK;
Government and industry to collaborate to secure dedicated funds to drive market development;
Government to lead on delivering insect biomass legislation and regulation; and
Government to devise and provide short term fiscal incentives for early adopters.
Andrew Swift, CEO of Fera (the Food and Environment Research Agency) and coordinator of the Insect Biomass Conversion Task and Finish Group said: ‘Insect protein production can be a big part of the solution to the global protein deficit for sustainable rearing of livestock.
‘This innovative and ‘clean’ industry has huge economic and environmental potential. It is critical that government acts swiftly to ensure the UK does not lose further ground in this rapidly developing global market.’