A YOUNG entrepreneur has been awarded the prestigious Young Foodie of the Year Award at the Taste of Gloucestershire Food and Farming Awards.

Luke Craven, co-founder of BiJimini, a micro-farm at Crudwell, which is home to thousands of crickets, picked up the award on Monday, October 30.

The 21-year-old from Charlton, near Malmesbury is delighted to win the accolade of Young foodie of the Year, and is working hard on the development of a new product, PowerFlour.

“It is a fantastic win and I am really, really excited,” Mr Craven said. “I applied a bit late in the day as I’m working so hard on getting this new product developed, tested, packaged, a website ready and soon to market. Now I can add the winner’s logo to the packet design it’ll look great.”

Mr Craven, who is a student at the Royal Agricultural University and has a passion for cricket farming, has developed his idea for PowerFlour with businessman Adam Gray.

PowerFlour is a mix of organic white and wholemeal flours and finely milled cricket powder.

Insects are an alternative to traditional forms of protein such as chicken, beef and fish, and crickets emit fewer greenhouse gases, require less space, and less feed than conventional livestock.

Mr Craven said: “We wanted to make a product that improves traditional flour by boosting the protein, B vitamins, zinc and iron, and crickets contain high quality protein, vitamins and amino acids.”

Now into their third generation of home grown crickets, the breeding programme is proving a success.

Business Development Consultant at BiJimini, Anna Palmer said: “Currently, the few insect based products that are available use imported insects from Thailand, USA and Europe and we aim to replace them with our home grown crickets to eliminate the environmental harm of food miles.

“Our crickets are farmed without the use of pesticides or any harmful chemicals.

“So far we have tested our product at Countryfile Live and The Big Feastival, and people loved the cricket cookie samples and kids are fascinated by the live crickets we take to shows and educational talks.”

BiJimini aims to promote its flour product and pure cricket powder to the wider market of consumers searching for a sustainable source of protein.