RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL – Aspire Food Group announced a couple of weeks ago that it had completed the construction of its alternative protein manufacturing facility. London, Ontario, is now home to the world’s largest cricket production facility.
Aspire’s the new plant will reportedly produce 9000 metric tons of crickets yearly for human and pet consumption. That’s about two billion insects to be distributed annually across Canada and the United States.
Aspire also reports that it already has orders for the next two years.
Crickets are currently being explored as a protein-rich superfood. They contain fiber, are already found in grocery stores and restaurants, and have a smaller environmental footprint than traditional protein sources.
EllisDon led the construction, and the new London facility, which will be fully operational in the fall, reportedly showcases four first-of-a-kind newly developed technologies; an automated storage retrieval system (ASRS), a new type of HVAC system, a 5G IoT network and an AI solution that’s been recognized by UNESCO.
Cricket farming is still a young industry, but it’s quickly gaining in popularity. Sens operates the biggest cricket farm on the planet right now. It uses vertical farming in a climate-controlled environment and has a research & development team working on automation and new biowaste feed formulas.
The industry is dealing with two main obstacles standing between cricket protein and the mainstream. The first is that the western world is not used to edible insects, and the second is price.