The environmental impact of insect productions
The last day of the conference started strong with the keynote of Dr Sergiy Smetana, from the Food Data Group, on the environmental impact of insect production for food, feed and beyond. The Food Data Group investigated edible insects’ producers and measured their ecological production impact to present this environmental impact review of the sector.
Dr Smetana exposed the entire production process to explain how the edible insect industry is generally more durable and has a lesser ecological impact tha the other animal agricultural productions, when all the aspects linked to the final product are taken into account, from insect feed source to packaging and transport. The weaker points that increased the GES output were underlined to be targeted by producers in reducing their ecological impact. As a practical example, Dr Smetana showed how transforming fats from the Black Soldier Fly into margarine could increase the possible selling value of production while offering a more durable alternative to cow milk products. This exemple was used to explained how the transformation of primary production can drastically change the market price associated with the produce.
Finally, Dr Sergiy gave suggested that a simplified and unified information model should be introduced. This model would represent the environmental impact level associated with the production, to provide more accessible and instinctive information targeted to consumers, like the triple-A or double-A quality rating of refrigerators.
A Global Roundtable for Insect Agriculture
The members of multiple associations revolving around edible insects took the stage on this Thursday during a conference wide roundtable discussion to introduce major associations around the world and their targeted and collective actions:
The AFFIA, the Asian Food and Feed Insect Association, aims at bringing industry and research stakeholders from the insect sector in a collaborative movement towards the development of entomoculture, entomophagy and their related activities. They count 42 members operating in 13 countries with most representation in Thailand, Malaysia and Singapore. The AFFIA offers a platform for knowledge sharing, for collaboration and promotion, and to develop and define good practices for Asian stakeholders and joint projects engagement to lead the Asian industry.
The Insect Protein Association of Australia advocates for the Australian insect industry to be a global leader in the food and feed landscape. With 35 members from 5 countries, their stated objectives are a legislative reform, foundational research and advocacy and support to the industry.
The well known IPIFF, International Plateform of Insects for Food and Feed, a precursor in all aspects regarding organized edible insects associations, includes 82 members from all over the European Union. Representative from IPIFF stated their active involvement towards consolidating dialogues with the European commission to provide regulative certainty across all member states. They invited all the participants of the conference to reach out to them for assistance, as they provide support to members, but also to all interested parties in working with edible insects in the EU. IPIFF shares their knowledge, takes collaborative action with other umbrella associations representing the different sectors of the industry (frass, feed, agriculture, etc.)
The NACIA, North American Coalition for Insect Agriculture, stated their mission to encourage the positive use of farmed insects in North America, with a primary focus towards developing and improving the regulatory development, connecting members with industry stakeholders, and informing key stakeholders about the industry. The NACIA is currently working on the creation of a guidelines on best practices for the North American industry.
Finally, David Allan took the podium virtually to discuss about the motivators for collaborative action in the edible insect sector. He shared his vision to provide a unified voice and leadership to present and promote the global insect industry as an essential participant in the feed, food, fertilizer, and sustainable manufacturing industries.
Academic Society for Insects as food and feed
Before ending the conference, Professor Marie-Hélène Deschamps, titular of a Chair on edible insects at l’Université Laval in Québec, took the stand to present the upcoming Academic Society for Insects as food and feed (ASIFF), built in collaboration with Professor Vandenberg, Professor Tomberlin and Professor van Huis.