A cricket farm in the Wairarapa is celebrating a milestone, becoming the first of its kind in New Zealand to produce 100 percent locally sourced cricket flour.
Rebel Bakehouse began work on its cricket farm 18 months ago, to provide flour for its new cricket flour wraps, which were launched into Kiwi supermarkets in March 2019.
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After testing and visiting international cricket farms, John Cockburn, owner of Breadcraft and Rebel Bakehouse, began his own farm in Masterton to create a premium cricket flour.
He said they worked with a local cricket expert, John Hart, to set up a pilot-farm.
"Starting with a handful of crickets, working with an entomologist and alongside Massey University, it became clear it could produce a sustainable farming process, using surplus bread from production to feed the crickets and supply enough flour for Rebel Bakehouse in the future," he said.
Rebel Bakehouse's Chris Petersen said making cricket flour and cricket wraps was in response to consumer demand for healthier alternatives in the bread aisle.
"Every day, two billion people around the world consume insects. Cricket powder is very high in protein and easily absorbed into the body," he said.
Cricket farming was also more environmentally friendly.
"Crickets produce just one percent of the greenhouse emissions of other farm animals - and use a fraction of the water and land space required," said Petersen.