On 1-2 November I attended two related workshops that I thought might open up new opportunities for Woven members. The focus of these was on biomass waste and the barriers to innovative ideas being taken forward to create new forms of protein for human consumption.
They were organised by WRAP – the waste specialists, in their capacity as leaders of the Courtauld 2025 initiative (aiming to reduce food waste by 20% by 2025) – and Forum for the Future, who are leading a major project called The Protein Challenge.
The Courtauld Commitment is a voluntary agreement aimed at improving resource efficiency and reducing waste within the UK grocery sector. The agreement is funded by Westminster, Scottish, Welsh and Northern Ireland governments and delivered by WRAP. It supports the UK governments’ policy goal of a ‘zero waste economy’ and climate change objectives to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. WRAP is responsible for the agreement and works in partnership with leading retailers, brand owners, manufacturers and suppliers who sign up and support the delivery of the targets. It was launched in 2005 and is now in its third phase.
Amongst a lot of discussions where I ensured the opportunities and barriers facing the insect for food/feed community are seeing, one of the actions we agreed was to explore the establishment in the UK of a properly resourced hub/centre that can help innovators working with protein alternatives to get products to market by identifying and addressing barriers, enabling initiatives to be taken forward that could benefit a group of businesses by supporting collective action, facilitating access to specialist resources around the UK. This could include a physical focus that would bring together a set of key assets and start to build an innovation hotspot focused on alternative protein. I would aim to be part of the development of this and ensure it focuses on developing a more substantial set of resources and support for Woven members!
This will require me to dig out all that you have collectively told me about the barriers you face but I would be particularly keen to hear from members about specialist equipment or other resources that would make a big difference to you.
If you are interested and want to offer suggestions contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org