Canberra food waste startup Goterra has raised $10 million in a bridging round has it looks ramp up its food waste treatment plants in western Sydney to deal with leftover produce from Woolworths that would otherwise go to landfill.
The company, which uses black soldier fly maggots to eat through the waste, is building a $3.5 million processing plant at Wetherill Park, 38km west of Sydney’s CBD. Goterra’s modular system, using shipping containers, uses the fly larvae to convert food waste into high-value, low-impact protein and fertiliser in just 12 days. The maggots are turned into livestock feed.
Woolworths has set a target of zero food waste going to landfill by 2025 and have made Goterra central to that strategy. The supermarket giant began collaborating with the waste startup in late 2020, with food waste from its Canberra stores, which donated to hunger relief charities like OzHarvest, processed by Goterra. Woolies is now looking to expand the project across Australia.
Goterra kicked off 2022 by building Australia’s first commercial waste processing facility using insects in the NSW border town of Albury, with support from the local council. The site processes food waste from Woolworths, retail, hospitality, community operators, food producers and more within the Albury Wodonga region.
Goterra, founded in 2016 by a former sheep farmer, previously raised $8 million in mid-2020, with backing from agtech VC Tenacious Ventures and Grok Ventures, the family fund of Atlassian cofounder Mike Cannon-Brookes. The company is looking to raise a Series B later this year.
A Goterra processing plant is also based at Barangaroo, processing food waste generated from the offices of the Lendlease office towers.