The outlook for aquaculture, the fastest-growing sector in the feed industry, is strong. Yet, challenges loom as aquaculture producers find themselves dealing with pressures on all sides. They face a limited supply of fish oil from overfished oceans. Meanwhile, increasing consumer demand for more sustainable seafood is causing ripples in the supply chain.
It is at this pivotal tipping point where a new collaboration is seeking to provide sustainable aquaculture nutrition solutions.
Guabi, a 43-year veteran in the animal feed business, entered into a strategic partnership with Alltech earlier this year, and now Alltech is linking the two leading aquaculture feed producers from opposite sides of the ocean together to accelerate solutions for the aquaculture industry.
“The opportunities between Coppens, Guabi and Alltech are exciting,” said Paulo Rigolin, strategic director for Alltech. “You have leaders in two different regions — Latin America and Europe — combining technology and expertise from more than 20 years of working in aquaculture. This strength is underpinned by Alltech, a leader in numerous agricultural sectors, including aquaculture.”
Guabi and Coppens have already begun discussing new opportunities, and it is expected that algae technology will be a significant focus.
“It’s a great opportunity to further apply new technologies to maximize performance for aquaculture species, but more importantly to bring profitability to producers and the highest quality products to consumers,” said Rigolin.
Guabi has a particular expertise in extruded feeds and unique solutions for a wide variety of aquaculture species, from shrimp to native South America freshwater fish.
In addition to a range of feeds incorporating Alltech’s sustainable alternatives to fish oil and inorganic trace minerals, Coppens specializes in nutrition for recirculating aquaculture systems (RAS) and recently announced a major USD 1 million expansion of their research center in the Netherlands.
“The new Coppens Research Centre will enable us to do more relevant studies and, more importantly, work with more species than previously whilst also providing a training centre for our staff around the world and customers alike,” said Anno Galema, managing director for Coppens.
Coppens and Guabi will share information on formulations, manufacturing techniques, and raw material and ingredient utilization.
“These are two leading companies in aquaculture feeds, each with unique local expertise,” said Patrick Charlton, CEO of Coppens. “We are very optimistic about what we might deliver to our customers through a collaborative approach to the pressing issues aquaculture faces.”
According to the 2017 Alltech Global Feed Survey, the aquaculture industry experienced a 12 per cent increase in feed production in 2016, reaching 39.9 million metric tons.
“We have seen aquaculture as key to our global growth for many years now, and the work with Coppens and Guabi allows us to be able to provide our customers with feeds incorporating the Alltech technologies that we believe are most critical to improving health and performance,” said Dr. Pearse Lyons, president and founder of Alltech. “Through these relationships and our shared commitment to innovative research, we believe we are well-equipped to provide our customers with a level of support and expertise that is unrivaled in our industry.”
This expertise is reinforced through a series of research alliances with several universities and a research institute, all of which have focused on examining the impact of Alltech’s algae solutions in a variety of species:
The research alliances’ findings to date have observed that Alltech’s All-G Rich™ could replace fish oil in the diets of marine, freshwater and salmonid species while maintaining performance and DHA levels in the fillet.
According to Dr. Lyons, the aquaculture industry should expect a long-term commitment from Alltech.
“We are already looking to add one or two more complementary partners to our aquaculture program,” said Dr. Lyons.