On Monday, Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food Marie-Claude Bibeau announced that Enterra Feed Corporation (Enterra) received $6 million under the AgriInnovate Program to help increase the production of sustainable, nutritious products to feed animals while helping to keep food out of landfills.
“Our government wants to reduce food waste and we are counting on our entrepreneurs to help us get there. It is an important way to reduce our greenhouse gas emissions while helping Canadian consumers save money," said Bibeau. "The Enterra model is very promising, and our investment will allow them to continue their launch.”
This funding supported the construction of a full-scale commercial facility, as well as the adoption of innovative equipment and processes to increase production capacity and improve efficiency, making it the first operation of its kind in Canada.
Through the AgriInnovate Program, Enterra has established a state-of-the-art, 188,000-square-foot production facility just north of Calgary, Alberta in Rocky View County.
At this facility, Enterra has been producing insect-based feed ingredients, with products for the pet food, poultry and wild bird markets being shipped throughout North America as well as recent expansion to the European Union.
“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 CEO 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.”
Enterra has developed proprietary farming methods to raise black soldier flies, a beneficial, non-invasive insect species with a rich nutritional profile. The company uses recycled food waste from local farms, grocery stores and food production facilities to feed the insects, which are then dried and processed into animal feed ingredients and fertilizer for plants. At its new facility, Enterra is able to recycle more than 130 tonnes of food waste per day. Operation of the facility also brought more than 65 jobs to the local economy.
Over half (35.5 million tonnes) of Canada's food supply is lost or wasted annually and $49.5 billion of that wasted food is avoidable.