Ontario Construction News staff writer
A food-grade cricket processing facility expected to be the largest in the world will be built in London’s Innovation Park.
Aspire Food Group says the new facility will be one of the most technologically advanced and energy-efficient protein production systems in the world and will initially employ 60 employees to meet the growing demand for premium alternative protein products serving both human and pet food markets.
The Texas-based company bought a 12-acre parcel of land in London’s exciting Innovation Park strategically located at the intersection of Veterans Memorial Parkway and Highway 401. Construction will begin in August 2020 and the facility is projected to be completed by the end of 2021.
“Cleantech companies like Aspire are investing in today and helping to position Canada as a leader in an expanding market as investors and businesses seek sustainable growth,” said Navdeep Bains, Minister of Innovation, Science and Industry.
“Investments in clean technology support the work of Canadian innovators to reduce Canada’s environmental footprint and grow economic opportunities.”
Aspire Food Group recently received $10 million in funding and support from Sustainable Development Technology Canada (SDTC), a fund that helps Canadian entrepreneurs accelerate the development and deployment of globally competitive clean technology solutions.
“We are extremely excited to welcome Aspire Food Group to London,” said London Mayor Ed Holder.
“This highly innovative and internationally renowned firm represents a significant addition not only to London’s growing food and beverage sector, but also to Innovation Park where Aspire’s facility will soon occupy 12 acres. With our economy in the early stages of recovery, Aspire Food Group’s imminent arrival is proof that London’s industrial land strategy is succeeding at expanding and growing our workforce in new and diverse ways.”
Officials say Aspire is a great addition to the agri-food cluster of more than 90 companies employing over 7,000 people at leading businesses including Labatt, McCormick, Dr. Oetker, Cargill, Original Cakerie and Nestlé, as well as several fast-growing food and beverage start-ups.
“This first-of-its-kind commercial facility will enable not just Aspire Food Group, but our entire 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.
“We are thrilled to be building this facility in Canada, where our journey started seven years ago as graduate students at McGill University”.