Dane Creek Capital Corp., a Mississauga, Ont.-based venture that focuses on pet industry investments, has acquired a 48-per cent interest in Midgard Insect Farm Inc., a cricket producer headquartered in Windsor, N.S.
Midgard crickets are one of the featured ingredients used in the company’s Dockside brand of planet-friendly pet treats, meal mixers, and meal toppers for dogs and cats created using ingredients from rescued fresh food and sustainable sources.
Midgard is one of a growing number of companies raising insects as an alternative and sustainable source of protein for both human and animal consumption. Cricket farms have traditionally focused on the sale of live crickets for pet specialty retail, but Midgard’s model will focus exclusively on the production of whole ground cricket meal to satisfy growing demand for alternative proteins in the pet food industry.
Midgard was founded and is currently operated by Joy Hillier, a registered veterinary technician and graduate of Dalhousie University’s Agricultural College whose interest in food security and sustainability led to her interest in edible insects. She also has professional experience in the food industry, animal husbandry, biosecurity technology, and laboratory procedure.
“We are very pleased to be making this announcement,” says Mark Warren, chairman & CEO of Dane Creek. “We recognised early on it would be important for us to vertically integrate our sources of sustainable ingredients for the Dockside brand of pet products. Additionally, as sustainability becomes a leading concern among pet owners, we believe there will be opportunities to expand the business to provide cricket protein to the pet industry as a whole. We were very impressed with Joy and her unique blend of scientific curiosity and entrepreneurial savvy and are excited to be given this opportunity to help her grow her business.”
“I am very excited to welcome Dane Creek as an equity partner in my venture,” adds Hillier. “Their support for my vision coupled with their pet industry and business management expertise will allow me to focus my time and energy on the developing science of cricket production and creating a high quality product for the pet food industry that will improve its sustainability as a whole. They will also be a valuable asset as we look to increase production and start hiring and training new personnel over the next year.”