Lately quite a few people have reached out for me for tips for starting a new Insect for Food and Feed- companies. I very happy to see the industry growing and it is my pleasure to help out. To make your starting easier I have here collected some links and tips how to get started and how to avoid some of the pitfalls.
I believe strongly in the Lean movement, not only in daily work, but also larger projects that starting of a new company is. The prevent unnecessary work and loss of resources, start by collecting data and objectively evaluating the potential of you business plan. To learn more about Lean and modern business management check out the great Lean Startup- book by Eric Ries.
Study the literature. Unfortunately there are only very few publications on the business side of IFF- business, biological knowledge can be found much easier. My thesis that I wrote in 2015 is still one of only publications looking at the production and supply chain side of this specific industry. The thesis comes with full list of references that can you use to dig deeper into all the discussed topics. Here below are some links I recommend you to read. Other than the links listed here you might want to check also the Directory from the menu bar, from there you can find all my blog posts e.g about how to choose the best species to farm.
- Thesis: Risk Management in High Scale insect farming: https://ilkkataponen.com/2015/05/20/thesis-supply-chain-risk-management-in-entomology-farms/
- Dipterra-blog. There most professional insect rearing blog: http://www.dipterra.com/
- Mass rearing of beneficial organisms- book: https://www.researchgate.net/publication/270274339_Mass_Production_of_Beneficial_Organisms_Invertebrates_and_Entomopathogens
Get connected with insect entrepreneurs. The largest database online with contact information can be found from this website, just click the “Entomology Company Database” from the menu bar. I also recommend that you will contact your local association of IFF companies, here are some links:
- International Platform of Insects for Food and Feed http://www.ipiff.org
- North American Edible Insect Coalition http://www.edibleinsectcoalition.org/
- The ASEAN Food and Feed Insects’ Association http://affia.org/
- The UK Network for Insects as Food & Feed https://woven-network.co.uk/
By getting connected you will get essential tips from more experienced people and you can team up to work on topics that you the concerns about (health of genetic pool, fighting horizontal integration issues etc).
Contact your local Food Safety Authority. In USA it is the FDA, in EU- level its EFSA. In other words the one that interprets the national laws regarding food and feed. They are there to serve you and they will tell you the status of insect food and feed in your environment. A nice collection of the legal status’ can be found here: http://www.foodnavigator-asia.com/Policy/Exploring-the-legal-status-of-edible-insects-around-the-world
Stay up to date. The following links are for news sites and social media channels that keep you up to date of the latest news in the field.
- 4ento is a news center for everything around the topic: http://4ento.com/
- Robert Nathan Allen is the founder Little Herds- association. Follow him in Twitter for the latest especially in North America. https://twitter.com/RNAeatsbugs
- Food Navigator is news center for Food & Beverage industry, follows closely also IFF- industry: http://www.foodnavigator.com/
- All About Feed is similar to Food Navigator, just with the feed aspect: allaboutfeed.net
- Facebook-group Food Insect Newsletter. https://www.facebook.com/groups/EdibleInsects/