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Investment in state-of-the-art facility for Aspire to support sustainable food production

Ontario – Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada

The Canadian agriculture sector continues to develop innovative ways to meet the demand for more sustainably grown food. Today, Francis Drouin, Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food, announced on behalf of the Honourable Marie-Claude Bibeau, an investment of up to $8.5 million for Aspire to support the building of a commercial facility to produce cricket protein.

Alternative sources of protein such as insects provide an opportunity for Canada's agriculture and agri-food sector to more sustainably meet global demand for food. Aspire's goal to tackle global food scarcity led to its focus on edible insect production, which can provide high volumes of nutritious food with a low environmental footprint.

With funding under the AgriInnovate Program, Aspire will use the latest smart technology to create the ideal growing conditions for crickets at its facility in London, Ontario. This investment will allow the company to monitor and grow billions of crickets at a time, producing a nutrient-rich protein for premium health food and pet markets. The technology will also significantly cut Aspire's cost of production, making its products more attractive for sale in domestic and international markets.

Food grade processing of insects is still relatively new for Canadian agriculture. However, alternative sources of protein such as insects provide an opportunity to more sustainable meet global demand for food by using less water, energy and space and emitting significantly less greenhouse gas emissions during the production stage.

The Government of Canada supports value-added innovation and the commercialization of cutting-edge technologies as part of a competitive and sustainable agriculture and agri-food industry.

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