Canada: Insect protein startup to build new facility as investors provide US$52m

By Jane Byrne

- Last updated on GMT

© GettyImages/Petmal
© GettyImages/Petmal

Related tags Insect Waste BSF

Canadian insect protein ingredient company, Entosystem Inc, has raised CAD$66m (US$52m), from both public and private investors, to start building a second production facility.

The startup is focused on growing black soldier fly (BSF) larvae to address the issue of food waste and to provide a new protein source for animal feed.

Entosystem recycles organic matter from Quebec's agri-food industry such as microbrewery grains, fruit and cereal residues, which it said would otherwise be discarded, transforming it into insect meal, oil, and fertilizer through a zero-waste process.

It is now constructing a new factory in Drummondville, Quebec, set to comprise over 100,000 sq. ft (9290.3 sq. m). The facility, which is set to come online in December 2022, will result in the creation of 70 new jobs for the region, said Entosystem. Those would be in addition to the 30 employees the company has at its R&D facility in Sherbrooke.

Fully automated process

The new BSF production facility will include a fully automated insect breeding process, allowing the startup to transform 90,000 tons of organic matter each year into 5,000 tons of protein larvae as well as 15,000 tons of approved fertilizer for organic farming, it added.

Cédric Provost, president and cofounder of Entosystem told us the pet food sector will be its initial focus market but the company is carrying out research projects into the application of its ingredients in aqua, poultry and pig feed. 

The financial backers in the Canadian insect protein pioneer include Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada, BDC, Farm Credit Canada, Export Development Canada, the Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food, Investissement Québec, the Financière agricole du Québec, RECYC-QUÉBEC, the City of Drummondville and the SDED, Desjardins and Sanimax.

"The use of insects to speed up the process of composting food waste is a promising solution for the environment,” ​noted Marie-Claude Bibeau, Canada’s minister of agriculture and agri-food.

“By recovering products intended for landfill, Entosystem creates value-added products, generates a zero-waste circular economy and contributes to the achievement of our climate targets. The government of Canada's investment in the company's new facilities will allow it to increase its production of alternative proteins for feed and fertilizers, which are essential inputs for the agricultural industry,”​ she added.

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