The State Food and Veterinary Service (SFVS) receives a number of inquiries about the growing activities of insects intended for human consumption. In America and Asian countries, the insects are used for food quite widely, while in the European Union (EU) they are regulated as novel food, and this new niche is gradually gaining ground in Lithuania as well. Currently, 10 growers of insects for food have already been approved in Lithuania, all of them are engaged in the growing and processing of house crickets. The most popular products offered in the market of our country are dried crickets with various spices and dried cricket flour, with the help of which the food products are enriched with proteins and fiber: oat bars, dried sausages, chocolate and others.
The nutritional properties of insects and their simple growing encourage people to take up this sustainable and relatively new business in Lithuania. The insects are considered as a nutrition direction conserving land resources. This innovation in the food industry is also welcomed by the European Commission, which on 3 May of this year approved the first species of insect – yellow mealworm (Tenebrio molitor L.) – fit for human consumption, and will soon include it in the EU List of Novel Foods.
The use of insects in food production contributes to the promotion of the EU Green Deal and circular economy, as insects use extremely little water and feed while growing and emit significantly less CO2 than traditional livestock industries.
For those who are interested in the business of insects intended for human consumption, the SFVS firstly advises to decide which one or more activities to undertake: the growing of insects for food and / or the production of insect products for human consumption. In order to register or obtain the approval for this activity, it is necessary to contact the SFVS territorial Department according to the location of the activity and directly or remotely, i. e. by e-mail or via the Integrated Food and Veterinary Information System (IMVIS) to submit the required documents.
The SFVS also draws attention to the need to register an insect farm as a feed business operator while planning the insect growing activities for human consumption. When a company is registered as a feed business operator, it is allowed to be engaged in one or more activities, one of them, to raise animals for the food industry, therefore, this step is mandatory. It is also possible to voluntarily register insect swarms in the Farm Animal Register Information System (ŪGRIS).
In order to facilitate the start of business for insect growers and processors, to systematise the currently existing legislation in regard to insects, the SFVS has prepared the guidelines for the insects grown in the Republic of Lithuania, intended for human consumpion and animal feed. These guidelines provide the most up-to-date information about the insect growing and processing requirements as well as the conditions for placing on the market. The growers of insects for food can find the above-mentioned guidelines and other relevant information on the SFVS website: https://vmvt.lt/maisto-sauga/maisto-produktai/gyvuninis-maistas/vabzdziai.
The SFVS specialists provide advice/business consultations by e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org, by a freephone 8 800 40 403, by filling in the form on the website or by contacting SFVS Departments by the following phone numbers.