Sustainable Protein from Insects – EHF Fellows Bex De Prospo & Peter Randrup at New Frontiers

Sustainable Protein from Insects – EHF Fellows Bex De Prospo & Peter Randrup at New Frontiers

(upbeat music) (applause) – Good, hello everyone, my name is Peter. Before I start, I just wanna
say a massive thank you to EHF for inviting us into this community and everyone here for welcoming us. My name is Peter this is Bex and we are the co founders of Anteater. Anteater is a Christchurch based startup, which wholesales edible insects to high end restaurants and chefs. (audience cheer) Thank you. (laughing) We’re working to mainstream
the idea of edible insects as a food group and potentially, as well, as a viable alternative to conventionally farmed meat. – Now, I’m hoping I just
haven’t made a mistake in giving Peter control
of the slides here. Good. So most of you have
probably heard something about the edible insect
industry overseas by this point. If you have, you’ve probably
heard of this product. This is cricket powder. Sometimes known as cricket flour. It’s basically, exactly
what it sounds like, It’s a pulverized cricket product, that’s used in supplements
kinda like these. So you may have seen some of these in your retail super markets and
your health food stores. These are protein bars, shakes, chips, that sort of thing with a small amount of cricket powder in them. This is not what Anteater does. This is what Anteater does. So we do high end food. We’re business to business. We are producers and wholesalers. We sell directly to the
best chefs in New Zealand. These are guys who are competing
at an international level. – We have huhu grubs, of course. Which are harvested for
us on the west coast of the South Island. They taste a little bit like pine nuts, if you haven’t tried them before. We have a native locust
here in New Zealand. These are farmed for us in Otago. They taste a little bit like, people say fresh water prawn. Some people say even like a potato chip. And these are our Lemongrass Ants, which they’re not your average garden ant. (laughs) They’re harvested, wild
harvested by myself, in the valleys of the
Port Hills in Canterbury. Chefs love them for their
incredibly unique natural flavor. Which they describe as
kefir lime and lemon grass with a mild blue cheese after taste. (laughing) That’s not just some kind of sales spiel, that comes straight from a chef’s mouth. (laughing) Their flavor makes them ideal as a garnish on high end dishes and
also as a flavoring. – Now, I confess that I did not grow up expecting to sell bugs for a living. (laughing) My background’s actually in
logistics and operations. I spent about 10 years
running rock and roll venues. And running technical teams
for a large scale events like this, the Laureus Sports Awards. But in 2016 I decided to
go back to grad school and study business and while I was there I ended up at a young entrepreneurs event called Startup Weekend,
which is where I met Peter. Peter got up in a room full of people and earnestly pitched
the idea of bugs as food. And I thought he was a crazy person. (laughing) But we had quite a good dynamic. I thought it would be a bit of fun. And it was just meant
to be a weekend project. So I thought, why not,
we’ll give it a shot. And then, well. (audience laughing) – It’s become our life. (laughs) I spent about four years
working in a seaweed business, down in Christchurch or Akaroa Harbor for the locals here. I’m a bit of an all-rounder,
so I was involved in every step of the value chain in creating products like kelp pepper. Has anyone tried it, out of interest? Cool, awesome. Which is also used as a
garnish in the food industry. I quit that job completely blind. Having no idea what I was going to do. I just knew I needed something with more learning and more autonomy. By the time I, Anteater By the time I met Bex at Startup Weekend, there was one week left
on my notice period. So, there’s a bit of pressure on. Some of you might be wondering though, why were you doing all of this? If we want to solve climate change, we’ve got to change the
way we think about protein. (laughing) – Sorry, bug puns are a big
part of the business model, so. – If you have any bug puns, feel free to come and talk to us in
the break and share them. – We’ve got a running list. – This is the real reason. Insects require 10 times
less feed than beef to produce the same amount of food. 15 hundred times less water. And about 100 times fewer emissions than conventionally farmed beef. – There’s also some
pretty great health stats around insects. Some species in fact, have
more protein than steak, more omega fatty acids than salmon, and more calcium than milk. – But the New Zealand
market is small of course. We’re only 4.5 million people. So our focus domestically is on scale. We’re also working to find, to get export ready. Figure out which export
markets we need to get into and the best product market fit. This is our long term vision. Our long term vision is a
viable insect based alternative to conventionally farmed meat. This patty for example is
actually made from mealworms. And it’s being sold in Swiss
supermarkets right now. – So yeah, we’re working
on some exciting projects to scale up production. Oh sorry, we take
ourselves very seriously. (laughing) So yeah, we’re working to scale
up production domestically. We’ve actually got a farming
project in development over the next 3 years to
try and get huhus to scale operating for a real proper food source that we can use as a protein substitute. So, that’s what we’re up to at the moment. We’re super excited to help
our international fellows settle into New Zealand
and we’re looking forward to leverage some of the
amazing contacts in this room to see how we can maximize
Anteater’s potential both here and overseas. – [Both] Thank you very much. (applause)

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