header
Inspiring Our Youth
To Realise Their Potential
Back to News Items

An Industry with Legs

The edible insect industry provides food for thought for businesses, as global demand is growing quickly. With our long tradition of agricultural innovation and diversity of insects, Australia is well placed to participate in this new industry.

To investigate the potential of this industry, the CSIRO has developed a roadmap for the development of the edible insect industry in Australia. Edible insects: A roadmap for the strategic growth of an emerging Australian industry, lays out a comprehensive plan for the emerging industry, exploring the challenges, opportunities, cultural values, sustainability, and health outcomes of the industry.

Co-funded by CSIRO and the Australian Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT) through the Council on Australia Latin America Relations (COALAR), the roadmap provides a framework within Australia for First Nations initiatives, start-ups, insect businesses, researchers, policy makers, and community members interested in engaging with the industry.

"The worldwide edible insect market is expected to reach $1.4 billion in value by 2023. Europe and the United States of America lead the western world market, with more than 400 edible-insect-related businesses in operation," CSIRO researcher and report co-author, Dr Rocio Ponce Reyes said. "Insects have high-value nutritional profiles, and are rich in protein, omega-3 fatty acids, iron, zinc, folic acid and vitamins B12, C and E. They are also complementary to our existing diets because they are a healthy, environmentally friendly, and a rich source of alternative proteins," she said.

More than 2,100 insect species are currently eaten by two billion people from 130 countries, including 60 native insect species traditionally consumed by First Nations Peoples in Australia. Iconic Australian species include witjuti (also known as witchetty) grubs, bogong moths, honey pot ants and green tree ants.

"The roadmap draws on the expertise of Australian and international scientists, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples, insect farmers, food processing industry leaders and chefs, to set out the challenges and opportunities presented by one of the world's richest sources of protein and other micronutrients," said CSIRO entomologist and report co-author, Dr Bryan Lessard. "Australia has a high diversity of native insects. Working with First Nations enterprises, many species have the potential to be sustainably harvested or grown in low impact farms, to be turned into new and delicious Australian foods for us and our pets. Commercial insect farming is considered to have a low environmental footprint, requiring minimal feed, water, energy, and land resources – factors of importance to the modern health and ethically-conscious consumer."

Related Pages
Share This Page With Someone
Stay Informed
Subscribe to one or more of our regular email subscriptions, to be kept up to date on news and funding opportunities for the region
Choose Your Subscription(s)
Contact Us
Phone02 6771 0700
Emailrdani@rdani.org.au
Opening Hours 9.00am to 5.00pm Monday to Friday
(Except Public Holidays)
Address 143 Marsh Street
Armidale NSW 2350
Postal Address PO Box 72
Armidale NSW 2350
Find Us in Google Maps or Apple Maps
© Copyright 2021 Regional Development Australia - Northern Inland
An Australian Government Initiative