Nutreco invests in Kingfish Zeeland, with Skretting to provide feed
Animal nutrition and aquafeed producer Nutreco announced on 28 January it has invested in Kingfish Zeeland, a yellowtail kingfish farmer based in Kats, The Netherlands.
Kingfish Zeeland is in the midst of an expansion in which it aims to build a recirculating aquaculture system (RAS) yellowtail farm in Jonesport, Maine, U.S.A. to eventually produce 6,000 metric tons (MT) of fish per year, while simultaneously expanding its existing farm in the Netherlands, with the goal of producing 5,000 MT of yellowtail by 2021.
“This strategic funding round will enable Kingfish Zeeland to double their current production capacity of 500 metric tons per year, as well as prepare for their next steps towards large-scale production across both U.S. and Europe,” Nutreco said in a press release.
Last month, Kingfish Zeeland revealed Paris, France-based investment firm Creadev and Netherlands-based Rabobank Corporate Investments had also become major investors in the company.
Nutreco CEO Rob Koremans said Kingfish Zeeland represented an extension of the company’s “Feeding the Future” commitment, in which Nutreco is committed “to producing enough nutritious and high-quality food for a growing population in a sustainable way;” Kingfish Zeeland’s fish carry both Aquaculture Stewardship Council and Best Aquaculture Practices (BAP) certification. The fact that yellowtail kingfish is a premium species and that supplies in the U.S. and Europe are “constrained with negligible local production,” also attracted Nutreco to the investment. Established in 2015, Kingfish Zeeland offers locally produced, ultra-fresh, ASC/BAP certified yellowtail kingfish raised through RAS.
“Nutreco’s ambition is to continue to invest and partner with leaders in sustainable protein production around the globe,” Koremans said. “This investment fits well with our strategy to play a leading role in the development of sustainable solutions to fulfil our mission. Over the past few years, it has become clear that the growing demand for seafood calls for development of alternative farming models such as RAS to complement the existing aquaculture methods.”
Kingfish Zeeland CEO Ohad Maiman welcomed Nutreco as a financial partner.
“We are excited to develop a partnership with a strategic industry leader such as Nutreco, and work closely with its aquafeed division Skretting,” Kingfish Zeeland CEO Ohad Maiman said. “As we enter the scale-up phase of our mission to advance a first-mover position in the sustainable production of premium seafood, we see strong alignment with Nutreco’s mission and values, and are grateful for their strong support and vote of confidence. This partnership will help Kingfish Zeeland accelerate large-scale production of yellowtail through RAS across the U.S. and European markets, and is a critical milestone in our development.”
As part of the partnership, Kingfish Zeeland will source juvenile feed from Skretting, the companies “will be working towards broader cooperation on the feed moving forward,” according to Skretting CEO and Nutreco COO Therese Log Bergjord.
“Skretting is a world-leading partner for RAS producers. Kingfish Zeeland’s knowledge of farming yellowtail kingfish in RAS, coupled with our expertise on high-quality RAS feeds, will help further integrate farming and feed solutions towards optimal fish performance, and will help further develop this highly sustainable form of aquaculture,” Bergjord said.
Nutreco Chief Innovation Officer Viggo Halseth praised Kingfish Zeeland’s development of a proprietary RAS set-up that has enabled large-scale, land-based farming.
“Kingfish Zeeland has successfully gained a first-mover position in the premium RAS farming sector, producing high-value yellowtail kingfish in a sustainable way,” Halseth said. “We believe that full-cycle RAS is a very relevant way of fish farming, which builds on the existing knowledge of on-land farming. Kingfish Zeeland is the kind of innovative and technologically knowledgeable partner we want to be working with.”
Photo courtesy of Nutreco