Woven Network aims to support the growth of the Insects as Food & Feed (IFF) sector as well as research relating to all aspects of this. Our focus is to facilitate, as best we can, the UK in playing an active part in this movement. We are fortunate to be able to draw on the advice and support of a wide range of people with varying expertise, forming our Advisory Board:
Arnold van Huis – Emeritus professor of Wageningen University & chief editor of the Journal of Insects as Food and Feed.
Sarah Beynon – Senior Research Associate at the University of Oxford & owner of Dr. Beynon’s Bug Farm research centre.
Meredith Lloyd-Evans – Managing Director of BioBridge Ltd., a bioscience innovation consultancy.
Casey Woodward – Head of Business Development at the Centre for Innovation Excellence in Livestock.
Jo Wise – Head of Monkfield Nutrition Ltd.
Arnold van Huis
Arnold van Huis is emeritus professor of Wageningen University in the Netherlands. He worked from 1974 to 1979 in Nicaragua for the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) of the United Nations on integrated pest management (IPM) in food grains. From 1982 to 1985 he coordinated a regional crop protection training project in Niger for eight Sahelian countries. From 1985 to 2015 he worked as tropical entomologist at Wageningen University, the Netherlands, and has been responsible for a number of IPM and biological control projects in the tropics. He is a world leading expert on insects as food and feed. In 2013 he published with FAO a book “Edible insects: future prospects for food and feed security” which has been downloaded seven million times.
He is a world leading expert on insects as food and feed. In 2013 he published with FAO a book “Edible insects: future prospects for food and feed security” which has been downloaded seven million times. He is also the first author of the “The Insect Cookbook” published in 2014 by Columbia University Press. In 2014 he organized with FAO a conference “Insects to feed the world” attended by 450 participants from 45 countries. He is chief editor of the Journal of Insects as Food and Feed. On edible insects, he (co)authored ten book chapters, and 20 refereed and 10 non-refereed publications. In September 2017 he published as main editor a book “Insects as food and feed: from production to consumption”.
Dr. Sarah Beynon is an academic entomologist, ecologist and farmer with a doctorate from the University of Oxford (with which she won the international Wallace Award for the best doctorate on insects written in the English language). Sarah was named as an ‘emerging legend’ in the 2017 Wales – Year of Legends, is a Senior Research Associate at the University of Oxford and a Fellow of the Royal Entomological Society. In 2013, Sarah set up Dr. Beynon’s Bug Farm (or “The Bug Farm”), a research centre, working farm and visitor attraction with a focus on invertebrates, sustainable agriculture and delicious food.
The farm is also the home of award-winning chef (and Sarah’s partner) Andy Holcroft’s, restaurant “Grub Kitchen”, the first full-time entomophagy restaurant in the UK. The Bug Farm won the Best Start-Up Business of the Year in 2016 and the Sustainable/CSR/Green Business of the Year in Wales in 2017, with Grub Kitchen scooping the 2017 Innovative Business of the Year for Wales in 2017.
In 2017, Sarah and Andy set up Bug Farm Foods: manufacturing, wholesaling and retailing insect-based foods and ingredients, and were filmed by BBC1 for “The Bug Grub Couple”, a stand-alone documentary following the development of their Cricket Cookies.
Trained as a vet, Meredith worked in the animal health industry and innovation businesses, British Technology Group and PA Technology, before setting up BioBridge in 1989. He has kaleidoscopic experience in food, agriculture, human & animal health, biotech, biomass consultancy work, tech development prospects, market dynamics and horizon-scanning strategic support.
Dr. Casey Woodward & the Centre for Innovation Excellence in Livestock offers Woven and its members:
- Market Intelligence into the UK livestock markets (monogastrics & ruminants).
- Brokering services with relevant parties across the UK livestock supply chain.
- Targeted grant advice and support.
Jo started breeding insects commercially around 30 years ago, principally supplying the reptile food market. Today, his company, Monkfield Nutrition Ltd, employs 120 people in the UK, is the largest commercial breeder of insects in the UK, and has just relocated to larger premises giving them significantly increased capacity to be able to supply the human food market. They have 4 species of crickets available for the market, Acheta domesticus (house cricket), Gryllodes sigillatus (banded cricket), Gryllus bimaculatus (black cricket) and Gryllus assimilis (Silent cricket), as well as a single species of locust, Schistocerca gregaria (Desert locust). They have a supply capability of around 700kg of dried product per week.