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Norwood cricket farm receives Ontario Excellence in Agriculture Award

Ontario agriculture minister Ernie Hardeman, left, and MPP David Piccini, present Entomo Farms in Norwood with an Excellence in Agriculture Award on Thursday.
Ontario agriculture minister Ernie Hardeman, left, and MPP David Piccini, present Entomo Farms in Norwood with an Excellence in Agriculture Award on Thursday. David Piccini/Twitter

The province of Ontario is recognizing a Norwood farm for its success in taking its cricket-based food products to the global stage.

On Thursday, Ernie Hardeman, minister of agriculture, food and rural affairs, and Northumberland-Peterborough South MPP David Piccini presented Entomo Farms with the inaugural Excellence in Agriculture Award.

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The farm turns crickets into powder for food products for human, pet and livestock consumption. Launched just four years ago, Entomo Farms now supplies more than 50 companies and has begun harvesting the cricket castings as a super fertilizer, aiming to be a zero-waste facility.

Currently, there are 30 employees at the farm just 40 kilometres east of Peterborough with a planned expansion of an additional 28 full-time positions.

“Ontario’s agri-food sector is a driving force for innovation and economic growth in our province,” stated Hardeman. “Agri-food businesses like Entomo Farms are always pushing boundaries and expanding economic opportunities. Their bold approach to building and growing their business has resulted in them becoming the largest company in North America raising crickets for human consumption — and they did it in just four years.”

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The Excellence in Agriculture Awards recognize agri-food businesses, individuals and organizations that have raised the bar for agri-food excellence, demonstrated leadership in their field, undertaken strategic product development benefiting their sector or advanced technological innovation.

“I am thrilled that a local agri-business, Entomo Farms, has received recognition for its global impact on sustainable food sources,” said Piccini. “Innovation in the agri-food sector is thriving in rural Ontario and Entomo Farms is leading the charge locally and internationally.”

Jarrod Goldin, president of Entomo Farms, says they’re “very honoured” to be recognized by the province.

“Producing crickets as food is new on many fronts so we’ve been lucky to have strong support from Health Canada, OMAFRA, and especially the local communities in Peterborough and Norwood,” he said.

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“Many other countries around the world already know how beneficial eating crickets can be for your health and we’re excited to bring this clean, nutritious food source to more people at home.”

The Excellence in Agriculture Award recipients were chosen by a committee of agri-food sector leaders. The awards recognize innovation for one primary producer, one processor and one agri-food organization, and gives honorary mention to an additional six innovations.

“The innovations recognized through these awards will help strengthen the agri-food sector as we continue to compete and succeed on the global stage,” said Hardeman.

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