CALGARY, ALBERTA — As part of its AgriInnovate Program, Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada announced Jan. 18 it has provided $6 million to Enterra Feed Corporation, a company producing sustainable insect protein ingredients for use in animal feed and pet food.

Funding has supported Enterra’s construction of a full-scale, 188,000-square-foot, state-of-the-art commercial facility in Rocky View County. This financial support from the Canadian government has also helped the company implement advanced equipment and processes to increase efficiency and production capacity.

“Our government wants to reduce food waste and we are counting on our entrepreneurs to help us get there,” said Marie-Claude Bibeau, minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada. “It is an important way to reduce our greenhouse gas emissions while helping Canadian consumers save money. The Enterra model is very promising, and our investment will allow them to continue their launch.”

Enterra uses a proprietary method of rearing and farming black soldier flies, a non-invasive, nutritionally rich species. As part of this process, recycled food waste from several local streams — including farms, grocery stores and other food production facilities — are collected and rendered into feed for the insect larvae and fertilizer. This circular model saves roughly 130 metric tons of food from waste streams per day.

“Our sustainable approach of using pre-consumer food waste and upcycling the nutrients allows valuable nutrients that are often left unutilized or underutilized to be captured,” said Keith Driver, president and chief executive officer of Enterra. “The resulting products are high-quality feed ingredients with unique beneficial properties that markets are demanding around the world. This work is revolutionary and now Enterra is a world leader in harnessing the power of insects to feed and care for the world.”

The company has increased production capacity from 10 metric tons per month to 10 metric tons per day, thanks to the AgriInnovate funding. Before the construction of its Rocky View County plant, it was producing ingredients at a smaller pilot production facility.

Enterra produces insect-based ingredients for pet food, poultry feed and wild bird feed markets, which are supplied to manufacturers throughout North America and throughout the European Union. Its Rocky View County facility employs more than 65 people in the area.

Canada’s AgriInnovate program offers repayable financial contributions to national projects that “accelerate the commercialization, adoption and/or demonstration of innovative products, technologies, processes or services that increase sector competitiveness and sustainability,” according to Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada.

Enterra was founded in 2007 as the first Canadian company approved to use and produce insects for animal feed applications.

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