Supporting the growth of the Insect Industry in ASEAN

Coordination of an insect focused association, as a platform for multi-sectorial companies and institutions involved in the insect industry.

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Preferred language

  • English

Organization name

AFFIA- ASEAN Food and Feed Insect Association

Year founded

2016

Initiative stage

  • Established (the solution has passed the previous stages and demonstrated success)

Annual budget in 2017 (USD)

  • $1k - $10k

Number of beneficiaries impacted so far

  • 100 - 250

Organization type

  • Nonprofit, NGO, or citizen sector

Secondary Focus Area

  • Water
  • Rural development
  • Nutrition

Headquarters location: Country

  • Thailand

Headquarters location: City

Bangkok, Thailand. Hostel at AETS Thailand. Mahatun Plaza. Ploenchit Road. 888/75. Lumpini. Pathumwan.

Location(s) of impact

ASEAN first: 10 countries
South-East Asian countries also
Worldwide membership acceptance too.

Website

www.affia.org

Facebook URL

www.facebook.com/affia.org

Twitter URL

@AFFIA_ass

Problem: What problem is this initiative trying to address?

In the last few years, there has been a clearly raising concern regarding food security, and how we are going to provice food to the growing population. This partially led to the increasing interest in sustainable food sources, starting with plants, and more recently with insects. The latter motivated the growth of an industry, which is still at its infancy and which needs support at all levels, starting from joining all related forces. Thailand is a historical leader in this industry, and thus the best location for it.

Solution Summary: What is the proposed solution? What do you see as its most promising aspects for creating shared value?

Association is a traditional concept, which is here applied to a very new industry: entomoculture. The idea is to provide under an association, a platform for its members to move forward together, and address similar issues, such as consumer acceptance. Moreover, being located in Thailand, the association benefits from the country experience with insects, and so has the possibility to engage local actors in activities to share knowledge and further promote the industry. An example in action? Simply, as members are from different parts of the industry value chain, a platform as AFFIA brings to them a communication tool to support each other improvements for mutual benefits: the insect feed manufacturer can understand better the farmers' challenges, and further improve his product accordingly.
Insects, are often divided into to major area based on the curent industry statute: Food and Feed.
More than only nutritious, they are also bringing a key to recover lost nutrients in food waste.

Impact: What is the impact of the work to date? Specify both the social and the environmental impact of your work

There is a minimum of 6 reported life cycle analysis (LCA) showing how insects can be a sustainable complementary source of protein to our more traditionnal ones through the consumption of less inputs (feed and water), added to the potential of insects to transform organic waste into soil fertiliser. Supporting the development of an industry following such ideas is encouraging to reduce the current agriculture negativ environmental impact.
On a social side, insect farming has been proven to be a great gender equality improvement tool, where women are getting more involvement and being more present in the agriculture sector.
Events, short courses, interviews and more, over the 1st year of AFFIA, had a real awareness raising impact among the Asian population especially in Thailand, but also a motivating impact for the industrial and academic members.
In practice, there have been a few projects launched or improved between members of the association, which happened thanks to AFFIA.

Financial sustainability plan: How is this initiative financially supported? How will you ensure its financial sustainability long-term?

For this first year, 100% of the budget came from membership fees, reaching about 1200 USD. AFFIA had the chance to receive a generous free hosting at a company in Bangkok, and the support in the form of in-kind for events and more.
In the long-term, the association plans to apply for potential funding following an official registration in Thailand. Moreover, more members should increase the association budget. Also Sponsors will be approached, as well as more events organized, to ensure the association sustainability.
The industry is at its premises, and looking at the growth forecast only promises great development which should reinforce the need and thus interest in AFFIA for regional and worldwide actors.

Unique value proposition: What makes your initiative innovative? How does your project differ from other organizations working in the same field?

AFFIA is the only insect association located at the roots of this industry, in Thailand and SEA. Moreover the current most produced insect worldwide, the cricket, sees its cradle in Thailand, where the most number of farmer is present. AFFIA has the will to both provide a platform between industrial and research members, but also to link vertically the key actors of the value chain, which is already happening through small activities in collaboration with farmers.

Founding story: Share a story about the "Aha!" moment that sparked the beginning of this initiative.

"What about your Job?"- "I am working with Insects, for food and feed"- " Ins, Insects? ah ok ok..."
Such reaction is very common in any discussion with an insect industry actor. And so uncommon it can be to meet an insect actor, it led to the will to keep in touch.

In Bangkok, ar. April 2016, we were only 2, discussing about the fact that "all for one and one for all" would clearly apply to this industry.

Looking back at a few business cards collected over 2 years, the decision was made to give it a try: a first meeting with industrial players from ASEAN, to assess their interest in collaborating together. 23rd of August 2016: The answer was clear: We were going to start something strong.

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