With the global insect market expected to be worth more than US$6.8 billion by 2032, AgriFutures Australia has released a new five-year plan to accelerate the growth of the emerging Australian industry.
The Australia Insect Industry RD&E Plan will help Australia position itself to capitalise on this commercial opportunity for a sustainable long-term future.
The plan, produced as part of AgriFutures’ Emerging Industries Program, was developed in close consultation with the Insect Protein Association of Australia (IPAA).
IPAA Chair, Duncan Rowland, said one of the key priorities of the plan was to establish best practice guidelines and standards to shore up the credibility and quality of the industry.
“We’ve also got to be able to enhance, strengthen and grow the industry’s capacity and capabilities,” he said.
“Australia is about 10 years behind what is happening in the EU and North American insect industries but by addressing the priorities identified in the plan, we will be able to significantly close that gap.”
The consultation process also included participation from stakeholders, such as insect producers, manufacturers, downstream customers, waste management companies, fertiliser companies and researchers.
Other priority themes include efficiencies and optimisation for current systems, opening new markets, products and use cases, market development, consumer education and social license to operate.
Mr Rowland said one of the greatest opportunities for the industry was in the replacement of protein meals in stockfeed.
“Australia imports about 55,000 tonnes of soybean meal every fortnight,” he said.
“we have a huge opportunity there to substitute that out for Australian-grown protein meal.”