Western Australia branch of Nuffield Australia
Nuffield Australia 2020 Scholarship winner
Paula-Lee Pownall from West Coolup, Western Australia, receives a Nuffield Scholarship to investigate how to scale an insect production facility using the latest technology and research. She will also study the policies, procedures and supply chains of the emerging insect protein industry.
Paula-Lee is the founder of Western Australia’s first edible insect farm, Grubs Up. Established in 2016, the business produces, processes and manufactures high-protein insects, most notably domestic house crickets and mealworms, for human food and animal supplements.
“Our goal is to become commercially viable and be as sustainable as possible. For instance, our business currently utilises vegetable waste to feed the insects, recycled egg cartons to house the crickets, and turns all manure and exoskeletons into a natural fertiliser product,” Paula-Lee said.
“My research aims to identify the necessary steps to scale this type of insect production facility while continuing to produce a high-quality product for human and animal consumption. To achieve this, I will look at existing procedures, policies and incentives, and explore what other industry leaders are doing well.”
Through her Nuffield Scholarship, Paula-Lee plans to visit leading commercial insect production facilities in Canada, Germany and Thailand, as well as speak with human food and animal feed regulators in the United Kingdom.