Breaking News on Food & Beverage Development and Technology - Asia PacificEU edition | US edition

Headlines > Formulation

Read more breaking news



Edible insect industry group set up to support Southeast Asia

Post a commentBy Massimo Reverberi , 03-Jan-2017

© iStock
© iStock

In the last few years, dozens of edible insect start-ups have popped up in western countries to supply a new wave of interest in bugs as food. This market is now in need of regulation, promotion and support.

This this is the case might might be one reason for the growing number of industry associations are being formed—including one I recently co-founded with some other companies in the region. 

The first representative body for manufacturers of insects for food was created by Robert Nathan Allen in 2013 as Little Herds in America. Then came the North America Edible Insect Coalition (NAEIC), formed by start-ups like Exo, Entomo Farms and Chapul. 

In Europe, IPIFF, strategically located in Brussels, represents small- and medium-sized companies from the edible insect market, as well as from the feed sector. Lobbying the EU parliament on insects is obviously one of their priorities. 

There is also BiiF in Belgium, FFPIDI in France and Switzerland’s GRIMIAM, which successfully campaigned to have the Swiss parliament approve a law on edible insects, which passed in December. 

As for Southeast Asia, in August 2016, a dozen regional insect business owners, myself included, met in Bangkok to create AFFIA, the Asean Food and Feed Insects Association. 

It sets out to represent Southeast Asian insect companies, but is also open to businesses in other Asia-Pacific countries through external membership. In coming years the association plans to spread the idea that insects are a viable solution to food shortages, both directly as human food, and indirectly as animal feed. 

Among its founders are brands including Smile Bull Marketing and my own Bugsolutely, each of Thailand, as well as Malaysia’s Entofood, Vietnam’s Entobel and Eawag of Indonesia. 

AFFIA plans to communicate the advantages of edible insects, and also try to create solid ground for the development of the industry; for example, starting a conversation with public agencies. 

The Southeast Asian tradition of farming and eating insects goes way back in time, but is not codified in legislation, nor even in best practices. There is still no GAP manual for farming crickets, nor an HS code for insects within the World Custom Organisation. The FAO’s Codex Alimentarius does not mention bugs as food, although a few years ago Laos proposed introducing new standards for them. 

Last but not least, AFFIA affirms that we will create a knowledge base for our members. This is to fill an existing gap in terms of information, not least because there is little publicly available information on how to farm, process and export insects. 

The membership fees has been set at a symbolic US$50 and will be used to support small processors and farmers, which form the majority of the sector.

Post a comment

Comment title *
Your comment *
Your name *
Your email *

We will not publish your email on the site

I agree to Terms and Conditions

These comments have not been moderated. You are encouraged to participate with comments that are relevant to our news stories. You should not post comments that are abusive, threatening, defamatory, misleading or invasive of privacy. For the full terms and conditions for commenting see clause 7 of our Terms and Conditions ‘Participating in Online Communities’. These terms may be updated from time to time, so please read them before posting a comment. Any comment that violates these terms may be removed in its entirety as we do not edit comments. If you wish to complain about a comment please use the "REPORT ABUSE" button or contact the editors.

Related products

Related suppliers

Key Industry Events


Access all events listing

Our events, Shows & Conferences...