June 2020 Newsletter No 34

New Webinar Series from 19 June

Zoom Webinar

Woven Network will begin hosting webinars using Zoom for people to talk about all matters relating to insect farming, or insect protein for food or feed.

We propose to start the first webinar focussed particularly on insect farming in the UK.
We will keep the format simple. 

  • The webinar will be hosted, and participants muted apart from whenever they wish to speak.
  • Everyone who wants to participate will need to register in advance.
  • Woven members can join and speak for free. For non-members it is £5, or £10 if non-members want to put an item on the agenda.
  • When you register you will be asked if you want to raise a particular topic for the agenda. This can be an introduction or update on your work or a question or theme – you will be given a chance to present for up to 5 minutes.
  • An agenda will be set from the topics raised at registration.
  • After each talk / question, comments will be invited for discussion.
  • Despite the limitations of the technology it will hopefully still be useful.

The first one will be on Friday 19 June at 12:00 British Summer Time (UTC+1). Register in the SHOP section of the Woven Network website,


Google Calendar    Apple Calendar 

We will see how this goes and adjust the format following it. If you cannot make this time, do suggest which times are better for you by email


World Wildlive Fund - Commission to develop a Roadmap for insect farming for livestock feed

We were excited to read that WWF is commissioning the development of a roadmap to help set the way forward for how insect farming for livestock feed can be expanded and what regulations, etc. will assist.
Unconventional Connections led a consortium that bid for this but was unsuccessful. We understand the successful consortium consists of ADAS, MIchelmores and Multibox – Congratulations.

Novel Food Update

Some of you will have noticed a flurry of media reports (3 April) that we will very soon see the approval of a range of insects for human consumption with the European Food Safety Agency announcing their approval under the new Novel Food Regulations.
We have checked with the European Commission and their response is that authorisation will probably not come out until towards the end of 2020. At this stage they cannot comment on which insects will be approved and which will have any proprietary restrictions associated with them.
The European Food Safety Authority has received 13 insect-related Novel Food applications, which also cover those insect species which are already marketed in some EU Member States. For these, Novel Food applications had to be submitted by the end of 2018 in order to keep these products on the market (transitional measure).
Six of these applications have entered the risk assessment phase (the others are in suitability check). 
  • Whole and grinded lesser mealworm (Alphitobius diaperinus) larvae products as a novel food (NF 2018/0125). 
  • Dried crickets (Gryllodes sigillatus) as a novel food (NF 2018/0260). 
  • Dried mealworms (Tenebrio molitor) as a novel food (NF 2018/0241). 
  • Whole and ground mealworms (Tenebrio molitor) larvae (NF 2018/0802)  
  • Whole and ground Grasshoppers (Locusta migratoria) (NF 2018/0803)  
  • Whole and ground crickets (Acheta domesticus) (NF 2018/0804)  

Importation of Insects into the UK

The Food Standards Agency and the Animal and Plant Health Agency issued Changes to Import Authorisations for Insects into the European Union on 11 March 2020.
Changes to Import Authorisations for Insects into the European Union, 11 March 2020. URN: IMPEN20011

Commission Implementing Regulation (EU) 2019/1981 has amended Article 20 of Implementing Regulation (EU) 2019/626 so that consignments of insects intended for human consumption shall only be authorised for the entry into the Union if such foods have originated in and been consigned from a third country or region thereof, listed in Annex IIIa of Regulation (EU) 2019/1981. These third countries are Canada, South Korea, and Switzerland only,.

Food and Feed Sustainability from the IPIFF

On 18 February 2020, the International Platform of Insects for Food and Feed (IPIFF) published their position paper for sustainability. They followed this on 9 April with a commitment to more resilient and sustainable food supply systems.

Market Study of Black Soldier Fly

There is a lot of publicity for this report published in February 2020. We are negotiating to get a reasonable price for this but still cannot really afford it at € 3075 for a single licence to a .pdf file.
If anyone out there is interested in sharing the price, please get in touch.
Black Soldier Fly Market by Product Type (Protein Meal, Whole Dried Larvae, Oil, Biofertilizer, Live Insect, Chitin/Chitosan), Application (Animal Feed, Agriculture, Pet Food, Pharmaceutical, and Cosmetics), and Geography - Global Forecast to 2030. Provides an in-depth analysis of the black soldier fly market in five major geographies and emphasizes the current market trends, market size, recent developments, and forecast till 2030. The global black soldier fly market is expected to reach $2.57 billion by 2030 with a compound annual growth rate of 33.3% during the forecast period of 2019 to 2030.

New product in United States

Grubbets are sustainable whole dried larvae derived from black soldier flies. Grown in California by the Insect Technology Group, Grubbets are a nutritionally complete feed-stock suitable for animals including chickens, pigs, birds, fish and reptiles, and provide nutritional constituents for most livestock diets.

Entomics changes name to Better Origin

The Cambridge company, Entomics has become 'Better Origin' as they move from research and development to a commercial enterprise. They make the Better Origin X1, an autonomous, cost-effective insect mini-farm that converts waste biomass, such as excess feedstock or food waste into insect biomass, that can be used to produce any animal feed.

 to launch Re_ in July

BeoBia's insect growing pod enables you to create your own source of nutritious protein. Re_ helps you to reduce your carbon footprint, reuse your food waste, and rethink your relationship with food. Re_ is made of fully recycled bioplastics that can be composted industrially. Its small modular and cable-free design allows it to be placed anywhere in the home. You can grow your own insect protein no matter where you live.

Sign up to BeoBia's mailing list to know when they launch and get 30% OFF.

BSAS Industry Prize finalist

We want to congratulate Kerensa Hawkey from the University of Nottingham for being announced as a finalist for the prestigious British Society of Animal Science 2020 Industry Prize for her abstract: 'Can commercial enzymes be used to enhance the nutritional composition of Tenebrio molitor (yellow mealworm) as an alternative protein source'.

Insects in the media

Secrets of Your Supermarket Food

Woven Director, Dr Chris Bear, appeared recently on Channel 5’s Secrets of Your Supermarket Food to talk about the role of insects in future diets. The documentary visited Horizon Edible Insects in London to look at how insects are produced and at some of the ways they can be presented to potential consumers. Watched by over one million viewers, the programme presented an overwhelmingly positive picture of entomophagy. It is available to catch-up on my5.
Chris Bear in centre

Farming Today, 8 April

Government money of £200,000 has been invested to establish small scale insect farms to produce insects to feed farmed fish and reduce reliance on imported feed containing fishmeal. Farming Today visited Mere Fish Farm in Wiltshire. Richard Small of InsPro described how black soldier fly are produced where waste is generated, rather than have waste transported to a central insect production unit. Jack Glendinning of Mere Trout looked forward to the price of insect feed becoming competitive with fishmeal to improve biosecurity and food security,.


1. Baiano A. Edible insects: An overview on nutritional characteristics, safety, farming, production technologies, regulatory framework, and socio-economic and ethical implications. Trends in Food Science & Technology 2020;100:35-50

Background Edible insects are considered as traditional foods in over 100 countries of Asia, Africa, and South America. Apart from this traditional aspect, edible insects are gaining increasing interest as alternative food sources for the increasing world population.
Scope and approach The purpose of this research was to give an overview on several aspects of edible insects: nutritional characteristics; physical, chemical, and microbiological hazards; presence of antinutritional substances or allergens; gathering and farming; production technologies and patents; legal status worldwide; socio-economic and ethical implications.
Key findings and conclusions Edible insects supply amounts of protein, fat, vitamins, and minerals comparable to those of meat. Although the studies on the environmental sustainability of insect farming are still few, it is generally recognized their limited requirements for land and reduced emissions of greenhouse gases. Nevertheless, not all the species can be bred as a consequence of their specific temperature and light requirements. Insects can be considered as safe from a microbiological point of view but can contain residues of pesticides and heavy metal. Attention must be paid to the cross-reactions among allergens found within some insect species. Edible insects can be consumed as whole insects but, in order to increase their acceptability, they can be processed into an unrecognisable form. Many inventions concerning insect processing have been patented. The European Union has a specific new Regulation on novel foods that established an authorization procedure to sell insect-based foods unless their safe consumption for longer than 25 years in third countries is demonstrated. Farming insects can offer revenue opportunities mainly in developing countries.
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