Business is hopping for Ontario cricket farms

Two Ontario enterprises that raise crickets and turn them into protein powder are expanding

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Turns out Canada is a happening place for cricket farming.

Two Ontario companies that raise crickets for food announced new funding last month for their expansion plans.

Entomo Farms, one of North America’s leading cricket producers, announced it closed a round of fundraising totalling $3.7 million to support growth and expansion.

Founded in 2014 by brothers Jarrod, Darren, and Ryan Goldin, Entomo Farms produces cricket powders, cricket flour and whole roasted insects. The Norwood, Ont. company has grown to 60,000 square feet of production space and supplies protein and crickets to dozens of brands and food companies around the world.

Meanwhile, Aspire Food Group of London, Ont, and its partners are getting $16.8 million from Next Generation Manufacturing, one of the five superclusters set up by Ottawa to foster economic innovation. The money will help fund a manufacturing plant that Aspire (which counts TELUS Agriculture as one of its partners) is currently building in London. The $72-million facility will be highly automated and capable of producing 20,000 tonnes of cricket product annually.

Aspire produces protein powder from crickets for food supplements and pet nutrition along with frass, an organic plant and soil biopesticide and biostimulant.

“A hundred grams of powdered crickets contains almost the same amount of protein as an equivalent amount of meat, but with less fat and fewer calories,” the company said in a news release. “Cricket powder is an excellent source of protein and minerals, such as iron, zinc and magnesium.”

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