EU Policies and Legislations can further boost the development of the European insect sector

Source: IPIFF Press Release

IPIFF – the European Umbrella Organisation representing the interests of the Insect Production sector for Food and Feed – emphasised the potential of the European insect sector towards more competitive and sustainable value chains.
Gathered in Brussels for the IPIFF 2018 Annual Conference, 200 participants, including European Commission Officials, Member States representatives and other delegates ranging from the insect sector, agri-food industry and scientists, recalled the potential laying in insects for food and feed, while highlighting the importance of EU legislation for the development of the sector.
Introducing the event, IPIFF President Antoine Hubert said ‘insect producers can make a significant contribution to competitive value chains, and European Regulations and EU funded research programmes offer many opportunities for insect producers to develop. Yet, the current regulatory framework must be adapted to ensure that this potential can be fully exploited’.

Bruno Gautrais, who is Head of Unit at the European Commission, shared the IPIFF President’s views: ‘EU policies and legislations must continue to evolve in order for the sector to further grow and innovate. However, these changes will not happen in one day, as we need to build up solid rules, guaranteeing a high level of safety for the use of insects in food and feed applications. Furthermore, a step by step approach is key to build credibility and trust in the sector’. Added the EU official. Insects as additional source of proteins are pertinent to respond to the challenges as singled out in the EU Protein plan. In this particular context, Javier Valle, who is Senior Policy Advisor at the European Farmers and Agri-Cooperatives Association (Copa-Cogeca) stated: ‘We do welcome the development of the insect sector, as it could bring promising solutions, in case insects would be authorized in poultry and pig feed in the near future following the relevant regulatory requirements. We do need to continue cooperating with insect producers to ensure these solutions best respond to livestock producers’ needs, and to explore avenues for EU farmers to tap into this new sector in the future’ added the Copa-Cogeca delegate. The event also shed light on several projects undertaken by IPIFF in the areas of food and feed safety: notably, the association is developing a guidance paper documenting best hygienic practices in insect production and has recently published guidelines to support insect producers in the preparation of novel food applications.

We trust that these works are useful for insect producers to conform with applicable legislations: our Guide on good hygiene practices should be published during the first quarter of 2019, while we expect the first novel food dossiers for insects as food to be authorized during the 2nd half 2019’indicated the IPIFF President. This event ended with a Roundtable discussion gathering producers of other ‘new’ sources of protein (e.g. algae and yeast). Talking on behalf of the insect sector, the Vice President of the IPIFF Association, Adriana Casillas stated: ‘Insects should be envisaged alongside other ‘new’ sources of protein in order to close the feed gapWe must also acknowledge that animals have different nutritional requirements, for which different protein sources are needed. In this context, insects can contribute to improve the nutrient balance and quality in animal feed, in addition to other ingredients’, explained A. Casillas.

Looking ahead, the IPIFF Vice President concluded: ‘further research, investment, and legislative evolutions are needed to increase our sector’s capacities. More importantly, we must pursue our efforts towards building a responsible industry in order to maximise its contribution towards more competitive and sustainable food and feed value chains’.

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