IFFO critiques Calysseo’s alternative feed plant: “Innovation doesn’t imply sustainability”

The construction of Calysseo’s new FeedKind alternative protein plant in Chongqing, China, poses no long-term challenge to the fishmeal and fish oil industry, according to the sector’s largest trade group.

Work commenced in early January on Calysseo’s new plant in the southwestern Chinese city of Chongqing as part of a joint venture between animal feed additives firm Adisseo and protein innovator Calysta. The plant will initially produce 20,000 metric tons of fish-free aqua-feed per year, with more capacity to be added in a second phase of construction. The product is produced from a gas fermentation process involving a naturally occurring bacteria.

In a statement to SeafoodSource, IFFO, the international trade body that represents the marine ingredients industry, said FeedKind, which is marketed as a brand of “sustainable alternative protein,” did not necessarily meet that description.

“Innovation doesn’t imply – nor should it trump – sustainability,” the organization said. “Replacing fishmeal and fish oil from wild-caught fish with alternative feed ingredients may compromise some of the aspects that make food from the sea a uniquely promising contributor to food security.”

IFFO said it “expects long-term growth for premium aqua-feed,” with traditionally-sourced ingredients playing a key role in the future of the industry.

“Given the growth perspective of aquaculture, more volumes are needed. Therefore, we should look for supplementation rather than replacement, the latter being unrealistic,” it said. “Supplementation allows for strategic combination between ingredients and their nutritional value.”

IFFO pointed to 2019 data showing fishmeal and fish oil feature high inclusion rates, with seabass at 40 to 50 percent, respectively; shrimp at 25 percent for fishmeal; eel at 65 to 68 percent; largemouth bass at 40 to 60 percent; and snakehead at 25 to 30 percent.

IFFO said an article recently published in the scientific journal Nature, “The Future of Food from the Sea,” warns that greater reliance on land-sourced proteins is not necessarily a sustainable path forward for the Earth.

“[It] provides an interesting roadmap for sustainable ocean food production to meet food requirements, while warning against additional pressure on terrestrial ecosystems that could result from a shift in feed ingredient sourcing,” IFFO said.

Photo courtesy of Calysta


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