Australis taps former Multi X exec to take the helm

Published on
June 13, 2022
Andrés Lyon, the new CEO of Australis Seafoods

Chilean salmon farmer Australis Seafoods, owned by China’s Joyvio Group, has named industry veteran Andrés Lyon as the its new CEO – replacing Ricardo Misraji – in a move that the company said looks to drive new development and consolidate ongoing operations.

Lyon, an industrial civil engineer, has nearly 25 years of experience in the industry. Up until the announcement, he was a member of the board and vice president of Salmones Multiexport, also known as Multi X. Previous to that and up until February 2021, he was the CEO of Multi X for over 10 years until he was replaced by food industry executive Cristián Swett.

“Australis Seafoods thanks Ricardo Misraji for all the work he has done over the last 11 years as CEO, a period in which the opening of the subsidiary Trapananda Seafarms LLC in Miami, United States, stands out, as well as the start of operations in the Magallanes region, including the acquisition of the Torres del Paine Plant in Punta Arenas and the construction of the Dumestre Plant in Puerto Natales, among other challenging projects, and wishes him much success in the challenges he will take on,” the company said in a release.

Australis said that with this change, it plans to further strengthen its position as one of the main salmon-producing companies in the south of the country, generating employment for more than 2,000 people as one of the most prominent salmon exporters to the world.

Last month, Chile’s environmental watchdog SMA initiated a sanctioning process against Australis for overproduction at the Morgan salmonid grow-out center, located in the Kawésqar National Reserve, which may carry a fine of up to CLP 3.3 billion (USD 4 million, EUR 3.73 million).

According to acting SMA head Emanuel Ibarra, the company already has five ongoing sanctioning procedures, and it will now be charged with two more regarding overproduction during the July 2017 - March 2019 cycle.

Australis recognized its fault and admitted that it had also overproduced during the 2019-2021 cycle. In response, it said it would lower production by a total of 1,816 metric tons (MT) in its next production cycles. The company said that the cut in future cycles, together with other actions of its proposed compliance program, will represent a cost of CLP 2.99 billion (USD 3.62 million, EUR 3.38 million).

The company is also building a USD 70 million (EUR 65 million) salmonid processing plant in Puerto Natales, in Chile’s Magallanes region. The plant is designed to process 72,000 MT of salmon per year and employ 400 people, but some citizens organizations have called into question the transparency and integrity of the plant’s related environmental approval process.

Photo courtesy of Australis Seafoods

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