TerraVia and Bunge strike distribution deal for algae-based aquaculture feed
TerraVia and Bunge Limited, joint developers of the algae-based aquaculture feed AlgaPrime, announced a agreement that will see their featured product distributed internationally by the end of the summer.
Formerly known as Solazyme, TerraVia is working with Bunge to develop and distribute AlgaPrime as an alternative to fish oil- and fishmeal-based feeds, which are costly and less sustainable. The companies are producing the product at its SB Renewable Oils factory in Brazil and its distribution deal will mean global distribution of AlgaPrime for salmonid fish feed by July 2016.
“AlgaPrime is our first major new product from the expanded joint venture with Bunge and could be a real game-changer in keeping our oceans healthy by offering a non-marine based, sustainable source of omega-3s to help address the growing ‘fish in, fish out’ problem today,” TerraVia CEO Jonathan Wolfson said. “It provides a far more sustainable, non-fish based source of DHA to help maintain healthy oceans while improving the nutritional value of seafood.”
Aquaculture is one of the fastest growing food production systems in the world and its overall market value is estimated to reach USD 200 billion (EUR 1.75 billion) annually by 2020, according to a press release. The global aquaculture industry spends approximately USD 3 billion (EUR 2.6 billion) annually in omega-3 ingredients in feed – primarily in the form of fish oil and fishmeal – a market TerraVia and Bunge Limited look to replace with their algae product.
“We’re excited to build on our experience in the food and feed ingredients industries to bring a new, sustainable and value-added source of DHA to the market at the quality, cost and scale the global aquaculture industry needs,” Bunge CEO Soren Schroder said.
The growth of aquaculture is putting a strain on wild fisheries used as traditional sources for fish oil and meal, and most aquaculture operations consume higher gross tonnages of fish oil and fishmeal than they produce in salmon and other higher-value fish. AlgraPrime is considered a more sustainable solution, according to Piers Hart, an aquaculture policy officer at the World Wildlife Fund.
“Aquaculture is becoming an increasingly important contributor to the global food system. To meet the continuing growth in demand for fish oil and fish meal, sustainable alternatives are needed,” he said. “We are eager to see sustainable sources of omega-3 rich oils come to market at scale and reduce pressure on scarce marine resources. The high yield and potentially reduced environmental footprint of algae products … could make this a more sustainable source of fish feed ingredients."