Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food Minister Marie-Claude Bibeau responds to a question during question period in the House of Commons on Parliament Hill in Ottawa on Friday, Dec. 11, 2020. A British Columbia company that feeds food waste to insects to produce pet food has received $6 million from the federal government for it’s new state-of-the-art plant just north of Calgary. THE CANADIAN PRESS/ Patrick Doyle

Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food Minister Marie-Claude Bibeau responds to a question during question period in the House of Commons on Parliament Hill in Ottawa on Friday, Dec. 11, 2020. A British Columbia company that feeds food waste to insects to produce pet food has received $6 million from the federal government for it’s new state-of-the-art plant just north of Calgary. THE CANADIAN PRESS/ Patrick Doyle

B.C. company turning fly larvae into pet food gets $6M in federal funds

The insects are black soldier flies and the plant is able to recycle 130 tonnes of food waste per day

A B.C. company that feeds food waste to insects to produce pet food has received $6 million from the federal government for a new plant just north of Calgary.

Enterra Feed Corp. last year opened a 17,500-square-metre production facility, about the size of three football fields.

It’s been producing insect-based feed ingredients out of the Rocky View plant for the pet food, poultry and wild bird markets in North America and Europe.

The insects are black soldier flies and the plant is able to recycle 130 tonnes of food waste per day and turn it into 10 tonnes of high-protein feed along with 10,000 to 15,000 tonnes of organic fertilizer.

“It’s really quite disheartening how much of that food doesn’t make it to the plate,” said Enterra president Keith Driver. “It’s really surprising how much of that product is out there and available.”

The fly larvae are fed a mixture of food waste and agricultural byproducts — primarily fruits and vegetables that come from food processors.

The insects can then be fed to poultry and fish as well as to cats, dogs and reptiles. A trial is underway to see if it will work in the pork sector as well.

“Black soldier flies are prolific breeders. They grow very quickly — one million per cent of their body weight in just three weeks,” said Driver.

“They’re very docile to manage.”

ALSO READ: Victoria mom buys butterflies in bulk in the name of science

The federal Agriculture Department says more than half — roughly 35.5 million tonnes — of Canada’s food supply is lost or wasted annually and $49.5 billion of that waste is avoidable. In addition, eight per cent of all greenhouse gases worldwide are the result of food waste.

“You have broken new ground as the first company in Canada to receive regulatory approval to produce animal feed ingredients using flies,” said federal Agriculture Minister Marie-Claude Bibeau.

“Seeing it on such a scale, I think it’s interesting. I’m very open to all of these innovations that can feed animals but also feed the world.”

Driver said Enterra plans to eventually open another plant in either Ontario or Quebec, but progress has been slowed due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

“Our sources of feedstock tend to be in and around metropolitan regions.”

Bill Graveland, The Canadian Press

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Want to support local journalism? Make a donation here.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Castlegar’s Gabrielle Herle (right) will be one of the speakers at the conference. She is seen here with Wendy Gaskill from Chinook Scaffolding accepting their Contractor of the Year Award in 2019 from the Builders Code Champion Awards. Photo: Submitted
Girls in STEAM and Leadership Conference offered free for all girls in the Kootenay Boundary

Virtual conference for girls in grades 8 to 12 will be taking place on March 8

A vigil is seen here at ANKORS in Nelson during International Overdose Awareness Day in August 2020. Six people died of overdoses last year in the city. Photo: Tyler Harper
Six people died of overdoses in Nelson in 2020

Castlegar and Trail each had three deaths

FILE – A COVID-19 vaccine being prepared. (Olivia Sullivan/Sound Publishing)
B.C. seniors 80 years and older to get COVID vaccine details over next 2 weeks: Henry

Province is expanding vaccine workforce as officials ramp up age-based rollout

Interior Health reported 43 new COVID-19 cases in the region Feb. 23, 2021 and no additional deaths. (Jennifer Smith - Morning Star)
43 new cases of COVID reported in Interior Health

No new deaths, Williams Lake outbreak over

An online post caused some concern after two former Olympian skiers visited Rossland despite the city and provincial health recommendations to stay and play local.
Rossland man responds to Olympian ski controversy

A visit to Rossland by former Olympic gold medalists has created controversy for local man

B.C. health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry and health minister Adrian Dix wore pink shirts to showcase this year’s motto: “Lift each other up.” (Twitter/PinkShirtDay)
PHOTOS: B.C. celebs take a stand against bullying on Pink Shirt Day

‘We need to let young people know they are not alone and they can reach out to others for help’

Jack Barnes, who was Cowichan Valley Capitals property from May 2020 until last week, scores a goal for the Penticton Vees during the 2019-20 BCHL season. (Brennan Phillips/Black Press)
COVID-crunched BCHL facing trade deadline dilemma with its 20-year-olds

Hard decisions loom when BCHL may or may not resume play

UBC Okanagan students are among the most food insecure in Canada, according to a new study by UBC.
(Phil McLachlan - Capital News)
UBC Okanagan students among most food insecure in Canada

42.3 per cent either can’t properly feed themselves, or are worried they will soon run out of money

Oliver Elementary School. (File)
Interior Health reports potential COVID-19 exposure at South Okanagan elementary school

Interior Health lists two dates for the potential exposure

Average response times for critical “purple” and “red” calls were between nine and 10 minutes Feb. 19 in Metro Vancouver, with only less critical “yellow” calls receiving an average response time of 45 minutes. The longer than usual delay was due to a combination of factors, BC Emergency Health Services said. (APBC image)
After a night of one-hour waits for ambulances, union goes public with concerns

B.C. Ambulance Service says high-priority calls were still 10 minutes or less

NorKam secondary student Karis Wilson in the outfit that got her sent home from school on Tuesday, Feb. 23, 2021. (Contributed to Kamloops This Week)
B.C. teen in turtleneck, lace-edged dress sent home from school for ‘inappropriate’ outfit

NorKam secondary student Karis Wilson was told the lace on the garment made it look like a slip dress

B.C. NDP leader John Horgan and former finance minister Carole James roll out “StrongerBC,” a $1.5 billion business support plan for COVID-19, eight months after the B.C. legislature approved the money and four days before a snap election call, Sept. 17, 2020. (B.C. government photo)
B.C.’s COVID-19 business grant fund still mostly unspent

$300 million pandemic assistance approved almost a year ago

Vancouver Canucks left wing Antoine Roussel (26) tries to get a shot past Edmonton Oilers goaltender Mike Smith (41) during second period NHL action in Vancouver, Tuesday, Feb. 23, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
Canucks cough up 3-0 lead, fall 4-3 to visiting Edmonton Oilers

Vancouver falls to 8-13-2 on the NHL season

Most Read