Lincolnshire is a massive agricultural food producer for the UK — but a new insect-based venture could be on the way.
Lincolnshire County Council’s economy and environment portfolio holder Councillor Colin Davie announced the potential news while updating members of the Environment and Economy Scrutiny Committee on the latest investment news for the county on Tuesday.
Telling councillors that interest in the food sector, including the Holbeach and South Lincolnshire Food Enterprise Zones, remained “very, very strong”, he added: “One example of an emerging area is an interest in protein-based foods.
“This is protein sourced both as a by-product of vegetable production, but also from insects fed on waste products.
“This market is attracting global interest from as far away as China and it is an area of significant academic attention.”
“We are dealing with such interest in Lincolnshire at the moment and I’m sure I’ll have more to say in the future,” he said.
Insect farms are seen to be more sustainable than meat and fish, due to a minimal environmental footprint.
Many see it as a potential replacement for meat and other protein sources as the population grows and food production is limited.
Internationally, bugs have been on the menu in many countries and cultures for hundreds of thousands years.
Following the meeting, Councillor Davie confirmed to Local Democracy Reporter Daniel Jaines that the interest was from both a production and a research point of view.
He said the alternative foods industry would be “very significant” in future.
“There is interest because of what Lincolnshire offers in terms of the agri-food sector generally on an international basis – robotics innovation, artificial intelligence.
“Companies in this field are looking at Lincolnshire as a potential site for investment and we’re very hopeful that one of those will be able to make an announcement shortly,” he said.