Farming flies can help aquaculture become more sustainable Photo: EntocycleFarming flies can help aquaculture become more sustainable Photo: Entocycle

The UK government has invested £10 million in a programme to demonstrate the feasibility of converting food waste into insect-based animal feed and fertiliser.

The UK Government’s Industrial Strategy Challenge Fund (ISCF) is providing the funding to a research consortium led by Entocycle which uses insects to make ingredients for pet food and animal feed. The programme, which involves a range of organisations including the University of Stirling’s Institute of Aquaculture, Cooke Aquaculture Scotland, and the Scottish Aquaculture Innovation Centre (SAIC), also hopes to prove that the farming of black soldier flies is safe, economically viable and scalable.

“Through the use of insects we can guarantee local supply chains – the early experience of Covid-19 has shown just how important this will be in the future – while making significant reductions to CO2 emissions caused by the production of traditional feed ingredients,” said Keiran Whitaker, founder of Entocycle.

“The positive environmental impact could be huge, helping to support the UK’s transition to a net zero carbon economy and the restoration of natural ecosystems,” he added.

By 2040, the consortium intends to establish the UK as an international centre of excellence for the farming of black soldier flies and the development of related technologies. It aims to have delivered more than 100 sites internationally, creating 3,300 jobs in the UK, and save 50 million tonnes of CO2 equivalent over the next 20 years.

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