Wednesday, 17 May 2017 10:28

Ag-West Bio approves $300k funding to Smart Earth Seeds

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Ag-West Bio, Saskatchewan’s bioscience industry association, has approved a $300,000 investment in Smart Earth Seeds, a vertically-integrated plant breeding company developing high-omega meal and oil products derived from its proprietary camelina genetics platform.

Camelina offers special promise as a sustainable source of the essential fatty acid ALA (an Omega 3 fatty acid) as well as an ideally balanced Omega3: Omega6 ratio. Also rich in vitamin E and natural antioxidants, camelina conveys excellent health benefits for humans and for animals, particularly fish, cats, dogs and horses.
The Ag-West Bio approval was made after a thorough investment review of Smart Earth’s track record and technology, and market traction in aquaculture and other feed markets. It is contingent on leveraging investment from other investors up to a $2-million threshold. Ag-West is now actively entertaining investment interest from other ag-tech investors while Smart Earth executes its 2017 production and marketing plan.
Ag-West Bio has been aware of Smart Earth’s development trajectory for several years.
Wilf Keller, president and CEO says, “We know them well. Their successive technology and market milestones over the past two years sparked our investment interest. Their sustainable aquafeed ingredient has garnered the most attention, but we like their diversity into several different revenue streams, based on a foundation of advanced germplasm and solid economics, all along their value chain.”
Smart Earth Seeds has generated more than $1 million from sales of its camelina products, including significant sales into the aquafeed industry. Smart Earth has sought and received approvals from the Canadian Food Inspection Agency for use of rich-Omega3 camelina meal as feed for broiler chickens and egg-laying hens. CFIA has recently approved camelina oil for use as a feed ingredient for salmon and trout. Exciting breakthrough markets for camelina products also include the equine and pet food industry as well as for cattle and dairy production.

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