Increased demand for unsustainably sourced feed
The increased demand for soybean meal in livestock feed is driving a need for more land for the production of this crop, which is causing significant problems in the sourcing regions (e.g. South America) where natural habitats are being destroyed and converted to farmland. Similarly, the demand for fishmeal in aquaculture has resulted in overfishing in some regions, which is associated with the accelerated depletion of fish stocks.
In order to help prevent these major environmental challenges, rival proteins that can displace or reduce the reliance on soybean meal and fishmeal are urgently required. Whilst there are a range of novel proteins emerging (e.g. algal, bacterial, and yeast-derived), the one with possibly the greatest potential is insect protein; particularly for animal feed for chickens, pigs and salmon.
To help address this global challenge, WWF-UK and Tesco have commissioned a new project to develop a roadmap for scaling of insect protein production for use in animal feed. The project, funded by WWF-UK’s ground-breaking partnership with Tesco, was awarded to an ADAS led consortium that includes leading agricultural law firm Michelmores LLP, and Multibox; a producer of insects from vegetable waste.