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Our origin story

Founder Olympia Yarger started farming insects as feed. Now they're converting waste for Australia’s most progressive companies.
Olympia Yarger, founder and farmer. Photo of her gumboots.

Passion for sustainable farming

Olympia Yarger was always determined to farm. But land is expensive and farming animals even costlier. So is the impact on the environment. But she could afford to farm insects.

Insects are a novel way to produce protein and make a financially sustainable farm. With insects she could make something valuable from next to nothing, and create a sustainable feed source for animals.

Goterra’s first insect farm in Canberra was born.

Photo of Olympia Yarger's early insect farming experimental equipment.

From farming to managing waste

Rearing insects on food waste was Olympia’s next experiment and epiphany. Not only could she farm in a way that’s commercially and environmentally sustainable, she could manage waste the same way. She could help build food security in Australia while managing our waste crisis.

Goterra was now an insect farming enterprise and a waste management company.

Photo of agriculture equipment circular blades.

Going against the grain

Farming insects doesn’t look like traditional farming, and many people told us it wouldn’t work. That simply reinforced our determination.

Change is coming and the future of agriculture is circular. That means getting value from every stage in the process and cycling it back into the food chain.

Goterra was building a new circular economy for food.

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Waste management systems for food waste in modular, autonomous shipping containers

Solving the transport problem

One of the biggest financial and environmental costs of producing protein is transport. For waste management, it’s the same.

How do we resolve this? Replicating large scale, single location farming doesn’t change the system. Decentralising it does.

Goterra’s fully automated Modular Infrastructure for Biological Services (MIB) was born. Building insect farms powered by robots meant we can produce at scale. Putting them in stackable shipping containers that can be deployed and serviced anywhere was the disruptive innovation.

Goterra's Modular Biological Services (MIB unit on site at Lendlease

Commercialising our solution

In October 2020, we commissioned the first commercial MIB for Sydney’s iconic Barangaroo towers, in partnership with Lendlease. Designed as a precinct of the future, Bangaroo is perfect for a future food solution.

The project demonstrated the MIB’s capability to process food waste onsite. A unit in the basement converts high volume commercial and retail food waste into low volume protein and fertiliser, eliminating waste logistics.

If the MIB works at urban sites like this, and remote regions, it can transform waste management ecosystems worldwide.

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Insect farmer at work experimenting with new ways to get insects to do jobs.

Getting insects to do more jobs

We’re partnering with businesses, universities and research institutions to test and iterate our approach.

Getting insects to manage effluent and abattoir waste. Demonstrating commercial efficiencies at scale. Testing lab-based results in real-world situations. Mapping waste supply chains and building IoT into autonomous systems. Finding opportunities to change regulations and standards to allow insects to do more jobs for Australia’s food and agricultural industries.

Meet our team

We're incredibly grateful to everyone who's been part of our mission so far. Every day we imagine new ways to reduce food waste and secure the world's food chain.

About us