Barriers, risks and risk management strategies in European insect supply chains

H. H. Niyonsaba*, J. Höhler, H. J. van der Fels-Klerx, T. Slijper, F. Alleweldt, S. Kara, R. Zanoli, A. I. A. Costa, M. Peters, M. P.M. Meuwissen

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)


Despite technological developments and regulatory improvements, most actors in the insect sector still face many challenges and uncertainties. While previous research mainly focused on the perception of domain-specific challenges and risks or has been limited to specific stages in the supply chain, this study aims to determine how stakeholders perceive the importance of past barriers and future risks along European insect supply chains, and to identify the applied risk management strategies. Data were collected from stakeholders across four stages of the supply chain (rearers (n=23), processors (n=8), and insect derived feed (n=14), and food (n=12) producers) through an online survey. In total, 60 different barriers and risks, as well as 20 different risk management strategies, were evaluated. We find that stakeholders across all stages of the supply chain perceived ‘financial, cost and market’ barriers and risks as most important, specifically referring to the lack of financial investments and price and demand uncertainties. In addition, legal restrictions were perceived to constrain upscaling opportunities across all supply chain stages. Worker and food safety barriers were generally perceived as least important. The main risk management strategies across all stages of the supply chain related to investments in technologies enhancing stability of both the quality and the quantity of insects and derived products. Stakeholders were most optimistic about the future reduction of ‘operational’ and ‘financial, cost and market’ risks. To further stimulate upscaling of the sector, we recommend to enhance financing opportunities, and to improve authorisations for the use of different substrates and the production of a wider set of insect-based ingredients for feed and food products.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)691-705
Number of pages15
JournalJournal of Insects as Food and Feed
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - 31 Jan 2023


  • Dynamic risk perception
  • Insect sector
  • Risk attitude
  • Risk preference
  • Stakeholder survey


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