A chat with Davide Rossi, Fucibo co-founder
Hi Davide, we met some time ago to talk about Fucibo, your project to produce insect-based food in Italy. Are there any news?
The first big news is certainly Efsa’s scientific opinion on the use of mealworms as food for humans. Finally a fixed point from which there is no going back: insects are safe, we can use them as an ingredient and we can consume them safely. In truth, this was known even before, given that about 2 billion people in the world already eat them.
As Fucibo, we are ready as we were last year before the pandemic changed all priorities. So today we are more than ready! In the meantime, we worked to better our recipes and growing our network of relationships.
Did you get the interest of the large-scale retailers, for example?
The interest had already been there, and now it has certainly increased thanks also to Efsa’s opinion.
The edible insects market is highly innovative, the growth forecasts are excellent so I think it is normal that, approaching the day when it will be possible to put insect-based products on the shelf, the interest of large retailers will grow. The large retailers will be crucial to boost the sellings of these products throughout Europe.
Talkin about Europe and the market, what are your perspectives?
We are sure that the high quality of made-in-Italy products will quickly gain room in the European market.
For the future we are very interested -and we are working to get there as soon as possible- in the US and South American markets, then obviously in those of Asia in general. One step at a time though.
Italy has so far held a very strict interpretation of the Novel Food Regulation, effectively slowing down the development of italian companies working in this sector. Could there be other delay due to the same reason?
I do not believe.
From here on we will talk about certified and authorized raw materials, I don’t see other reasons could slow the development of the sector in our country, especially if we think that southern Italy would geographically be a perfect place to breed edible insects. Indeed, I would say that at this point the italian Institutions should support the creation of an all-Italian supply chain oriented towards high quality, because this market is about to explode and it would be crazy not be ready.
But your company is UK-based…
Yes. Unfortunately and fortunately at the same time.
Unfortunately, because leaving Italy was a necessity, otherwise we would not have been able to progress until today.
Fortunately, because the Anglo-Saxon system provides very few costs and bureaucracy to start an innovative business, and the British institutions are among those in Europe that have tried not to be an obstacle for this sector.
Italy has always and in any case remained in our hearts and in our heads, so much so that we will have a new company based in the country we consider home. Stepping back to Italy was something inevitable for us.
How do you see the next two or three years?
Exciting and challenging at the same time.
We will certainly have a lot to do, lot of new opportunities, lot of new people to meet and ideas to develop.
We are impatient.