Woven Newsletter No.4 – February 2016

We will be launching Woven Network memberships very soon, as part of our commitment to building a powerful community and strong sector here in the UK.

In the meantime, please take the time to complete one of our surveys, or contact Nick if you have any questions regarding the recent Novel Foods legislation.

Looking forward to hearing from you.

— Harold Stone (Editor)

FSA Novel Foods Workshop

The Food Standards Agency are holding a Novel Foods workshop this week, and we are sending our Managing Director, Nick Rousseau, as delegate.

He will be representing Woven and the UK insects for food and feed sector.

If you have any questions for him to ask on your behalf, please send him an email.

Business Survey & Researcher Survey

We are keen to build an accurate and comprehensive picture of the “insects for food and feed” sector in the UK. These surveys will give us a sense of the key facts.

We will use your responses to build a report for the forthcoming conference in April, and to press for the sector to be taken seriously.

The survey will also help us gauge what you want from Woven Network.

Please do take 10 minutes or so to help us help you!

Business Survey

Researcher Survey

We will of course respect commercial sensitivities.

— Nick Rousseau (Managing Director)

Insects in the News

Last month edible insects were a feature of the World Economic Forum’s Annual Meeting in Davos.

Protix founder, Kees Arts, was invited to participate as as a Technology Pioneer, and presented an interesting analysis of the role of insects in the “circular economy”.

Technology Pioneers like Kees are evaluated by the WEF as being “expected to have a significant impact on business, society and ecology”.

Meanwhile, Google highlighted cricket flour as a rising trend of 2015 (see right).

Cricket Flour on Google

A study on the attitudes of young Italians towards consuming insects concluded that presentation was an important factor. A separate study in the journal of Psychology & Marketing came to essentially the same conclusion.

Some insights into the marketing of edible insects were also provided by Kinetic UK and Ogilvy Change, and discussed in The Guardian.

Their findings suggest that focusing on scarcity and loss aversion (i.e. FOMO – the Fear Of Missing Out) are highly effective.

Stink Bugs - "Thongolifha"

A study from the Nairobi-based International Centre of Insect Physiology and Ecology (ICIPE) confirmed the nutritional importance of “thongolifha”.

Thongolifha (the edible stink bug, Encosternum delegorguei) is popularly consumed across southern Africa.

And lastly, in a thought-provoking article for the Journal of Agricultural and Environmental Ethics, Bob Fischer concluded that strict vegans should be eating insects.


February 4
Advisory Committee on Novel Foods and Processes Workshop (London)

February 18
Insect Production, Processing and Legislation Workshop (Wageningen)
Hosted by the International Insects Centre. Lecturers will be from Wageningen University and Research Centre, HAS University of Applied Sciences and NGN

March 17
New Frontiers in Food and Drink 2016 (London)
Organised by Food Manufacture

April 11
Insects as Food and Feed: The Way Forward (Nottingham)
Joint meeting of Woven Network, Royal Entomological Society and the University of Nottingham

Image Credits: QuenchSA, Google

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