By Suzi Dominy*
BioMar and Tongwei form JV in China and South East Asia
The big story in the world of aquaculture feed this month is that the BioMar Group has signed a Memorandum of Understanding with the Chinese Tongwei Co. Ltd to establish an equally owned Joint Venture dedicated to producing and selling high performance feed for aquaculture in China. The target of the Joint Venture is to become one of the leading suppliers of high performance feed to the Chinese aquaculture sector, and in a second step, to expand further to other Asian markets.
The joint venture will build an aquafeed mill with an annual capacity over 100,000 metric tons in China, scheduled to start operation in 2016. In the next stage of the agreement, BioMar and Tongwei aim to construct a further three to five new feed plants of a similar or larger capacity in China and to expand with production and sales in other countries in South East Asia.
BioMar’s entry into the Chinese market is, according to the CEO of the BioMar Group, Carlos Diaz, a part of a global expansion strategy initiated a few years ago, with the establishment of a feed production unit in Costa Rica and which most recently has resulted in the construction of a new mill in Turkey.
Carlos Diaz explained that BioMar and Tongwei complement each other extremely well in terms of product ranges and market access: “China is the world’s largest aquaculture market and Tongwei holds the leading position as a feed supplier to the aquaculture industry in China”.
Tongwei Co. Ltd is listed at the Shanghai Stock Exchange, and a part of the Tongwei Group. Tongwei operates nationwide in China as well as in Southeast Asia with over 100 branches and subsidiary companies. In 2014 Tongwei produced around 4,000,000 tons of feed of which 2,500,000 tons were aquaculture feeds. This makes Tongwei the world’s largest aquafeed manufacturer as well as a major livestock and poultry feed manufacturer. It has held the leading position in the Chinese aquafeed industry for the last consecutive 22 years and it is continuing a rapid expansion within aquaculture research, animal health care, and food processing. The annual sales revenue of Tongwei is more than RMB 10 billion. (1 RMB= US$0.16)
Founded in Denmark in 1962, the BioMar Group A/S is a leading supplier of feed to the aquaculture industry, ranking among the top three suppliers in the field of high performance feed worldwide. Currently BioMar has 11 production facilities, producing feed for more than 30 different species including among others salmon, trout, sea bass, sea bream, eel, tilapia, shrimp, and sturgeon. BioMar feeds are sold to more than 60 countries and a new factory is at present being built in Turkey. In 2014, the sales volume of BioMar was close to 1,000,000 tons with a turnover around €1.1 billion. (€1= USD$1.07) BioMar is fully owned by Danish Schouw & Co, listed at the Nasdaq Copenhagen stock exchange.
“BioMar will, as a leading global supplier of specialized larval and fry diets as well as high performance grower diets and functional feeds, contribute with know-how and product ranges for the fast growing production of high value fish species in China,” Diaz said. The product range for the new Joint Venture factory will include starter and grower feeds for marine and fresh water species such as sea bass, sea bream, cobia, turbot, bass, grouper, trout, sturgeon, tilapia, eel, and shrimp.
While BioMar will directly apply feed recipes and product ranges for some species, Carlos Diaz underlines that BioMar also brings a well proven approach in product development securing highly efficient, safe, and sustainable diets: “We have in the salmon segment as well as in other species, built a model for feed development which will be of great value in the development of feed for the new species which are gaining importance in aquaculture across Southeast Asia.”
Referring to recent reports pointing to the lack of clean water as one of the greatest challenges for the expansion of aquaculture production in China and the rest of Southeast Asia Carlos Diaz pointed to another key strength of BioMar: “In this scenario with water becoming an increasingly scarce resource BioMar can contribute with a huge amount of knowledge in environmental management, reduction of emissions from aquaculture to the aquatic environment, and especially with highly specialized diets developed for intensive fish production in recirculation aquaculture systems with very limited water consumption. BioMar has over the years through a proactive research effort and collaboration with farmers, authorities, and research institutions achieved a leading position in this field. This knowledge will be very important in the future development of aquaculture in China as well as the rest of Asia,” he said.
On the research front, Norway’s Arctic Salmon Research Centre (ASCR) has received permits for the period 2015-2020. The research centre, which is scheduled to start up in June 2015, will contribute knowledge on fish farming in arctic environments in Finnmark, a county in the extreme northeastern part of Norway, to optimize ongoing operations and to explore the possibilities for growth in this region. It will study the significance of feed customized for the fish farming conditions in the region. The trials will be done in full-scale with groups of spring smolt (S1), and autumn smolt (S0) that are kept from smolt to harvest. Goals for the trial period 2015-2020 are to optimize growth and feed utilization in salmon by customizing protein and energy in the feed to environmental conditions and growth patterns in Finnmark; study the effect of feed with functional ingredients on sore prevention in salmon, and possibly contribute to healing of sores; optimize fatty acids composition to maximize the utilization of essential oils EPA and DHA, and at the same time ensure good health and quality in salmon from Finnmark while optimizing pigment content and antioxidants in feed.
In Australia, Deakin’s School of Life and Environmental Sciences has teamed up with Australia’s largest feed manufacturer, Ridley Corporation, in a six-year, AU$2.4 million collaborative project, to improve the quality of aquafeed, while reducing its impact on the marine world.
“The ultimate goal of the partnership is to create a diet for farmed fish that uses zero ingredients from the ocean, to help the industry reduce its impact on the world around us”, Associate Professor Turchini said.
Specific projects include nutritional improvements to support fish health and performance during sub-optimal seasonal conditions; predictive modelling of omega-3 fatty acid concentrations in farmed fish products, optimization of on-farm feeding strategies; development of innovative laboratory-based models to simulate the digestive processes in farmed fish and development of a marine-life-free food for fish produced using 100 per cent Australian ingredients.
New association pushes for EU approval of insects in feed
Last time in this column (and in a feature article in the latest issue of our quarterly magzine, AQUAFEED: Advances in Processing & Formulation) we reported on AgriProtein, a South African company that has commenced commercial production of fly larvae. That company, along with insect-producing companies from the Netherlands, France and Germany, has formed the International Platform of Insects for Food and Feed (IPIFF). Top of the agenda in their inaugural meeting was a call to the E.U. to allow insect products as source of animal proteins for food consumption and animal feed.
In the EU, insect companies mainly produce for pet food. However, the potential for insect meal is huge, especially for the aquaculture feed sector. IPIFF is asking for the revision of the EU feed legislation in order to allow insect products reared on 100% vegetables substrates to be used as sources of proteins for aquaculture, poultry and pigs.
Invitation to provide input into a new version of IFFO RS
The IFFO RS is to undergo an extensive review with a view to producing a new version of the standard (IFFO RS V2). IFFO is the international ‘not for profit’ organization that represents and promotes the fishmeal, fish oil and marine ingredients industry worldwide. IFFO RS Ltd. has produced a draft Terms of Reference for a Technical Advisory Committee (the TAC will be the group entrusted to develop the new IFFO RS V2) and comments are welcomed on this draft. The purpose of this exercise is to gain input from all stakeholders that may wish to be involved in the development of IFFO RS V2.
The TAC has been tasked with focusing on a number of key areas for IFFO RS V2. These areas include the consideration of a credible and consistent methodology in which the management of mixed trawl fisheries could be assessed as a source of responsible raw material for marine ingredient production. In addition, other key developments will focus on the IFFO RS factory conformance criteria, assessing Good Manufacturing practices and reducing environmental risks during the production processes. The TAC will also be asked to consider additional conformance criteria to assess the social and welfare rights of employees in factories, as well as looking at how reassurance can be obtained on the conditions of workers on the supplying fishing vessels.
Comments and feedback regarding the TAC terms of reference, as well as on the overall standard is encouraged. To download the full TAC Terms of Reference document go to www.iffo.net/iffo-rs-standard-development-version-20. For comments and information regarding this process, visit the IFFO RS website www.iffo.net/iffo-rs or contact IFFO RS secretariat at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Suzi Dominy is the founding editor and publisher of aquafeed.com. She brings 25 years of experience in professional feed industry journalism and publishing. Before starting this company, she was co-publisher of the agri-food division of a major UK-based company, and editor of their major international feed magazine for 13 years.