BioAlberta recently recognized Enterra’s trailblazing work to harness the power of insects to become one of the most innovative partners in pet food in North America by awarding it their Scientific Achievement and Innovation award. BioAlberta recognizes outstanding achievements in the life sciences sector that generate real-world solutions with global impact.
“The life sciences sector thrives on innovation, so anytime we are acknowledged for innovation in this space, it’s a real honor,” says Enterra CEO Dave Lemmon.
Since 2007, Enterra took the idea of Black Soldier Fly as a powerful protein from ideation to full-scale commercial vitality. They’ve capitalized on Black Soldier Fly larvae as a unique and sustainable animal feed ingredient, benefitting pets, their owners and the environment. Over the past decade, the company has developed and refined their insect-based protein production, opening a state- of-the-art commercialized production facility in Alberta, Canada, in January 2020.
“With this innovation, the Enterra team has positioned the company, and Alberta, as leaders in alternative and urban agriculture,” says Keith Gilchrist, chair of BioAlberta’s awards committee, “When we talk about how the life science community has the power to revolutionize Alberta’s economy and disrupt our primary traditional industries, this is exactly what we mean.”
The 180,000-square-foot facility can efficiently house over 3 billion insects at once, at all different stages of their lifecycles. They are fed using only government approved, pre-consumer food waste sourced from local food producers and grocers, which diverts 130 tons of food waste daily from landfills. Enterra’s vertical farming technique also allows the company to farm with no arable land, using minimal water and producing significantly less greenhouse gases than traditional feed production methods.
“While sustainability is among our top priorities, we can’t make a difference in the world without customers who are also seeking sustainable partners. In the feed industry, we can only be competitive if we’re both sustainable and functional, and we’ve been able to prove both with third- party research and customer trials,” says Lemmon.
Enterra produces three high-quality insect protein products for pet food and animal feed. EnterraProtein, EnterraOil and EnterraGrubs products are made from Black Soldier Fly larvae, an insect known for its rich nutritional profile, and that is high in protein, calcium and lauric acid. The by-product of insect rearing is an organic fertilizer, or frass, that can be used for plants, gardens, and farming, helping plants thwart disease– and further proving that not only is insect-rearing efficient, but the whole cycle is incredibly sustainable.
“At Enterra, we are a purpose-led organization, and as such, we are committed to harnessing the power of insects to feed and care for the world. In doing so, we create products which provide our customers with truly sustainable alternatives,” says Lemmon. “I would also like to acknowledge all of our dedicated employees for their hard work and unwavering commitment to get us here–I am truly humbled.”