EU green light brings insect protein into the mainstream but does little for Europe’s waste crisis

Statement by Jason Drew, co-founder AgriProtein

London, 13 December 2016

Statement by Jason Drew, co-founder AgriProtein*, in response to today’s (Tuesday 13 December) Council of the EU vote to accept proposed amendments to legislation governing farmed insects used in animal feeds.

“TODAY’S move by EU regulators brings insect protein into the mainstream of ingredients permitted in animal feed.  This is a big step forward for the environment and for world food security.  Trawling the oceans to produce fishmeal is one of the most destructive activities on the planet. Replacing fish protein with insect protein in animal diets allows us to dedicate our oceans to production for human consumption alone.

But while the new regulations will permit insect protein as a feed in EU aquaculture, the situation hasn’t changed for other farm animals, including poultry and pigs.  Moreover with post-consumer waste still excluded as a rearing material for insects, the move will do little to solve Europe’s waste management crisis.

Insects are a natural source of protein for all monogastric animals.  Indeed the EU already permits the use of insect protein in pet food, when the insects have been reared on pre-consumer vegetable waste.  We’re calling on regulators to move to the next logical step: give insect protein the green light as a feed for all non-ruminants and give post-consumer waste the green light as an insect-rearing material.

Outside the EU, our fly-factories are already making a big dent in the waste-to-landfill problem. Once our new factory model is rolled out, they will be capable of recycling 250 tonnes of domestic organic waste per day.”

*Valued at USD 117 million, waste-to-nutrient recycler AgriProtein is the world’s biggest fly-farmer.