By Cliff White, Executive Editor
Published on Wednesday, October 05, 2016
Australis Aquaculture has acquired Marine Farms’ operations in Vietnam, deepening its commitment to farming and selling barramundi globally.
Australis Aquaculture, based in Turner Falls, Massachusetts, U.S.A., sells a full line of barramundi products in North America, Australia, Asia and Europe under the Australis and Clean Harvest brands and through private label partnerships.
Terms of the deal to purchase Marine Farms’ operations were not disclosed by either Australis or Friendmall, Ltd., which owns Marine Farms. Friendmall is a Cypriot company owned by Jerzy Malek, the founder and former CEO of Morpol. Following the purchase, Australis Aquaculture will operate three aquaculture farms: a land-based farm in Massachusetts, an off-shore marine farm in central Vietnam, and the now Marine Farms site.
“The Marine Farms acquisition substantially increases the number of farm sites and gives us the ability to efficiently scale our operations in central Vietnam for the foreseeable future,” Australis CEO Josh Goldman said. “We are thrilled to consolidate production in a pristine location that is far from the industrial and human impacts found in many other locations in Asia."
Australis has pursued sustainability and best-practice certifications since it was founded. In 2011, the company’s Vietnam-raised barramundi was the first marine-farmed fin fish to earn the Monterey Bay Aquarium Seafood Watch “Best Choice” rating, and its farms still carry that label today. Australis also has received Best Aquaculture Practices (BAP) three-star and Global G.A.P. certifications, and is compliant with Whole Foods’ seafood quality standards.
“Australis has been operating in Vietnam since 2007 and we have found it to be an excellent location to develop our marine production base,” Goldman said. “We will continue to focus on growing our production of the finest quality barramundi while meeting the highest standards for sustainability as we work to make barramundi the next major aquaculture species.”