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The environmental impact of rearing crickets for live pet food in the UK, and implications of a transition to a hybrid business model combining production for live pet food with production for human consumption.

Suckling, James, Druckman, Angela, Moore, C.D and Driscoll, Daniel (2020) The environmental impact of rearing crickets for live pet food in the UK, and implications of a transition to a hybrid business model combining production for live pet food with production for human consumption. International Journal of Life Cycle Assessment.

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Abstract

Purpose: Rearing crickets in the UK for the live pet food market is already a well-established industry. However, there is interest in also producing food for human consumption. This paper presents a life cycle assessment (LCA) of a current live pet food business. Using results from this LCA, the papers explores how current business practices could be improved to reduce environmental impacts, and discusses the potential benefits of a hybrid live pet food/human consumption business model. Methods: An attributional, cradle-to-farm-gate life cycle assessment was conducted on rearing crickets for the live pet food market, with data collected on-site at a case study business. Results are reported in multiple impact categories from the ILCD 2011 Midpoint+ method. Comparison is made to the only other similar study: an LCA of rearing crickets in Thailand for human consumption (Halloran et al. 2017). The sources of the different environmental impacts between the two studies are explored and inefficiencies in the live pet food rearing process identified. Subsequently, scenarios are used to explore how the inefficiencies may be mitigated, and environmental impact of the live pet food production process reduced through adoption of a hybrid live pet food/human food production model. Results and Discussions: The environmental impact was found to be larger across all impact categories than the only known comparable study, which is for rearing crickets in Thailand for human consumption (Halloran et al. 2017). Some of this difference is due to the heating required for rearing crickets in a climate such as the UK, and some is due to the requirements of the live pet food market being much more demanding on resources than the human food model. The current study identifies improvements in practices that would make this contrast less stark, such as optimizing feeding practices, and the benefits of moving to a hybrid live pet food/human consumption business model. Conclusions: This is the first LCA of crickets reared in the UK. The results highlight inefficiencies in the rearing process that are now being addressed by the case study business. The study also shows the potential co-benefits of a hybrid business model, in which crickets for human consumption are produced alongside crickets for the live pet food market.

Item Type: Article
Divisions : Faculty of Engineering and Physical Sciences > Centre for Environment and Sustainability
Authors :
NameEmailORCID
Suckling, Jamesj.suckling@surrey.ac.uk
Druckman, AngelaA.Druckman@surrey.ac.uk
Moore, C.D
Driscoll, DanielD.Driscoll@surrey.ac.uk
Date : 28 May 2020
Uncontrolled Keywords : Life cycle assessment (LCA), crickets, human food, live pet food, business model, entomophagy, insect farm.
Depositing User : James Marshall
Date Deposited : 09 Jun 2020 14:31
Last Modified : 09 Jun 2020 14:31
URI: http://epubs.surrey.ac.uk/id/eprint/857309

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