The inauguration comes one year after the startup secured more than CAD$60m in public and private investments for the construction of that facility.
With an area exceeding 100,000 sq. ft (9290.3 sq. m), the new, full automated factory now has the largest production capacity for larvae and organic fertilizer on the continent, said the insect producer. The factory boasts an innovative zero-waste process; it is designed to produce up to 5,000 tons of larvae and 15,000 tons of organic fertilizer per year, it added.
Entosystem is focused on growing black soldier fly (BSF) larvae to address the issue of food waste and to provide a new protein source for pet food and animal feed. It 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.
The new factory has also led to the creation of 70 jobs. “We are actively seeking talented individuals committed to the circular economy to join our team.”
Last April, Entosystem announced it had raised CAD$66m (US$52m), from both public and private investors, to start building the Drummondville plant, its second industrial-scale facility.
Pet food focus
Cédric Provost, president and cofounder of Entosystem told us back then that the pet food sector will be its initial focus market. However, he added that the startup was carrying out research work into the application of its ingredients in aqua, poultry and pig feed.
Entosystem, based in Sherbrooke, Quebec, began R&D work on its larvae protein in 2016. Two years later and the company had transferred to a 22,000-square-foot industrial plant, where commercial-scale operations could begin.
The financial backers in the Canadian insect protein pioneer included 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.
According to Marie-Claude-Bibeau, minister of agriculture and agri-food, Canada, insects can quickly repurpose large quantities of organic matter. “By industrializing the process, Entosystem can transform food waste into essential inputs for agriculture: natural fertilizers and alternative proteins for animal feed. Turning towards a circular economy is a promising model to help us reach our climate goals.”