Aquaculture feed firm BioMar reports below 1 FIFO ratio
BioMar Group has become one of the first aquaculture feed companies to reach the milestone of an annual average FIFO (fish-in: fish-out) ratio of less than one, it announced on 30 June.
The achievement means the company’s feed results in a higher total volume of farmed fish than the total of wild-caught fish it consumes in producing its products, and is a major achievement in the industry, according to BioMar CEO Carlos Diaz.
“Although it is unlikely that BioMar will achieve such a good FIFO ratio every year due to ever changing market conditions, this is a major milestone and shows that we are progressing towards an industry where sustainable and high performance alternatives to fish oil and fishmeal are accessible and becoming commercially viable,” he said.
The announcement was made as part of the release of BioMar’s 2016 Sustainability Report, which revealed BioMar’s FIFO score to be 0.93:1 in 2016. Its score was 1.05:1 in 2015, the company reported.
BioMar Group, which is owned by Denmark-based Schouw & Co., operates 13 feed factories in Norway, Chile, Denmark, Scotland, Spain, France, Greece, Turkey, China, and Costa Rica. Worldwide, BioMar supplies feed to around 80 countries and for more than 45 different fish species, with approximately 69 percent of its feed being used in the farming of Atlantic salmon.
According to the company’s report, BioMar has “aimed to take the lead in researching alternative materials for fish oil and fishmeal, including plant proteins and marine ingredients like micro- algae.” New alternative raw materials, as well as high prices of fish oil and fishmeal in 2016, made it possible to for BioMar to formulate price-competitive, high-performance feed with a low FIFO ratio, the company said.
The company’s sustainability report also details other efforts the company is making to lessen its environmental footprint and increase its support of human rights. Biomar Global Sustainability Director Vidar Gundersen said those efforts led the company to align its report with the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals this year.
“To us it is vital to be aligned with the industry as well as the global sustainability agenda,” he said. “We have this year been taking a deep dive into the UN Sustainable Development Goals with particular focus on ‘life below water’ and ‘life on land’ for responsible sourcing of raw materials. Working in the field of sustainability is a never ending quest for taking care of the world around us and supporting the future generations. We simply need to be ambitious because it is the right thing to do.”
The report also discloses that BioMar conducted extensive external materiality assessment in 2016, which includes feedback from stakeholders from the industry. Gundersen said that assessment will help the company will continue its search for innovative and sustainable solutions to issues facing the industry.
“Sustainability is a very broad topic, so it’s essential to us to understand what sustainability means to our stakeholders and what they expect from us,” Gundersen said. “We have been out listening to the world around us and based on the feedback we have developed a materiality matrix that will guide our sustainability agenda.”