Europe should legislate for insect products to be a sustainable source of animal proteins for food consumption and animal feed, insect producers have said.

The call comes after producers came together to formally establish the International Platform of Insects for Food and Feed (IPIFF).

IPIFF’s President, Antoine Hubert, said that the planet faces huge challenges due to a growing population and increasing competition for scare resources and the IPIFF believes that insects are part of the solution.

“That’s why we joined forces to create IPIFF, so that we can speak to the EU institutions and partners from the food and feed chain with one voice. As a pivotal actor in this process we will strive to make insect protein available to EU farmers, companies and consumers,” the IPIFF President said.

Currently, EU legislation is not tailored to insect proteins specifications and the IPIFF says that this lack of legal certainty is jeopardising the investments and production plans of companies, thus restricting the availability of this promising source of protein for EU farmers and customers.

Insect companies in the EU mainly produce for pet food but the IPIFF says that the potential for insect meal is huge and it is asking for a revision of the EU feed legislation in order to allow insect products reared on 100% vegetables substrates to be used as sources of proteins for aquaculture, poultry and pigs.

Vice President of the organisation, Tarique Arsiwalla, said that production techniques have been developed in recent years and are now being deployed at industrial scale by companies which comply with stringent risk management procedures.

“Insect derived products can therefore be used in nutritional and functional feed applications at competitive prices, whilst complying with EU highest standards in terms of food & feed safety,” the Vice President said.

The IPIFF was launched in Brussels recently by insect-producing companies from the Netherlands, France, Germany and South Africa.

The IPIFF says that insects are an abundantly available resource with a high nutritional value and a tiny ecological footprint and insect products can be applied in many different fields, not only in the food and feed sectors, but in the future also in the area of green chemistry or fertilisers.