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Adam Routledge (Edible Bug Farm)

Adam Routledge won November's Shell LiveWIRE Smarter Future Award and was a finalist for the 2015 Shell LiveWIRE Young Entrepreneur of the Year Award.
Established in October 2014, Edible Bug Farm aims to normalise the consumption of insects in Western diets. Starting with mealworms and crickets, the business produces human grade edible insects using scientific management principles.
Edible Bug Farm’s founders Adam Routledge and Matt Anderson got their idea whilst travelling in Asia, where the regular consumption of insects is part of a balanced diet. Drawing on their respective backgrounds in biochemistry and ecology, Adam and Matt saw an opportunity to address three of the world’s most pressing issues: food scarcity, resource demand and greenhouse emissions.
The UN estimates that around 70% of global agricultural land and fresh water is currently dedicated to farming livestock. Yet for each 100kg of feed consumed, a cow only produces 4kg of meat. Moreover, a single cow produces 100kg of methane gas a year – the equivalent to four tonnes of C02 – and consumes anywhere from two to thirty gallons of water a day.1  
In contrast, crickets have been found to be at least 11 times more efficient when it comes to feed to meat conversion, producing 47kg of meat for 100kg of feed. Crickets also consume less than 0.05% of the water consumed by cattle, and have a negligible carbon footprint.2  
With the world’s population predicted to reach 9.6 billion by 2050, edible bug farming offers an economical and sustainable solution to some of the world’s most pressing problems.3  
Supply of human grade edible insects in the UK fails to meet demand. Most are currently imported from the Netherlands, which increases the UK’s carbon footprint. In establishing Edible Bug Farm, Adam and Matt hope to help ease this supply shortfall and capitalise on a growing market.
Funding from the Shell LiveWIRE Smarter Future Award is helping Edible Bug Farm automate the farming process, reduce operational costs and ultimately commercialise their process. The farming technologies they are developing are designed to be automated, cost-efficient, sustainable and scalable. Adam and Matt aim to lead the entomophagy industry in the UK, offering an alternative solution to global food security concerns. 

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