The world’s largest food-grade cricket production facility will be built in London, Ont.
Aspire Food Group says the new facility will be “one of the most technologically advanced and energy efficient protein production systems in the world”.
It will employ 60 people. Construction is expected to start in August 2020 in London’s Innovation Park, where other food processors have set up over the past number of years including the Original Cakerie and Dr. Oetker.
Why it matters: The creation of protein from insects is generally accepted to have lower environmental impact that another protein sources, and so competes with plant-based and animal-based sources of protein.
The company’s founders started their journey into insect protein during graduate school at McGill University. In 2013 they won a global prize beating thousands of other universities from around the world. Aspire is the company that grew out of that process.
Aspire Food Group also has operations in Africa and the United States.
“This first-of-its-kind commercial facility will enable not just Aspire Food Group, but our entire growing sector to take an important stride forward in our mission to deliver an excellent-value protein at a fraction of the environmental impact of most conventional protein sources,” said Mohammed Ashour, co-founder and CEO of Aspire Food Group.
Protein from insects has so far found markets as an additive to some human foods and as a feed additive for poultry. Insect can be produced in a controlled environment, like a factory.
The project received $10 million in funding from Sustainable Development Technology Canada.