BioMar, Earthworm Foundation partner on Ecuadorian shrimp-sector improvement project

Published on
May 4, 2022
Danny Velez, Florie Hovine, Henrik Aarestrup, and Karina Marcano; member of BioMar and the Earthworm Foundation.

Aarhus, Denmark-headquartered aquafeed supplier BioMar Group has partnered with the international nonprofit Earthworm Foundation to focus on sustainability best practices and social change in Ecuador’s shrimp sector.

The Earthworm Foundation works with businesses to find solutions to environmental and social challenges within value chains. The full value-chain collaboration looks to address the industry’s main issues, including the sourcing of raw materials for deforestation-free aquafeed, shrimp production and processing, training staff in global best practices, and capacity building initiatives to provide local residents with the skills needed for them to qualify for shrimp farming employment. The idea is to have local communities benefit from Ecuador’s development of its shrimp sector, which has turned into a USD 5 billion (EUR 4.6 billion) export powerhouse, BioMar said.

“The expansion of any market requires us to consider the impact on people and the environment. By partnering with a highly respected and knowledgeable organization that specializes in social and environmental initiatives like Earthworm Foundation, we are ensuring that the growth of Ecuadorian shrimp production is done in the right way,” BioMar Group Vice President of Latin American Shrimp and Hatchery Operations Henrik Aarestrup said.

Last year, BioMar Group said it expected to increase its extruded feed capacity to a total of 200,000 metric tons (MT) at its facility in Guayaquil, Ecuador. The two-phased installation will add a total of four new lines to further support an amplified product portfolio and is in preparation to introduce new advanced shrimp feed concepts, slated for market launch later this year.

Now, BioMar and Earthworm Foundation will look to move Ecuador’s shrimp market beyond commodity thinking to create traceable, value-added products that consider parameters such as social and environmental impact, Aarestrup said.

“Today’s consumers are becoming more and more conscious about their seafood choices. They want to know where their seafood comes from and the impact it has had on the environment and local communities. Through this BioMar-Earthworm Foundation project, our two organizations can cater to the consumers’ needs,” Aarestrup said.

Wholly owned by the Danish industrial group Schouw and Co, BioMar operates 17 feed factories spead across several countries, and is responsible for supplying feed for more than 45 different species in about 90 countries.

The company recently announced it had shut down all of its commercial trade activities in Russia following the invasion of Ukraine. It said it is anticipating the loss of raw materials from Russia and lost sales volume there will have a significant impact on its bottom line. The company posted revenue of DKK 4 billion (USD 582.8 million, EUR 537.6 million) in Q4 2021, on 405,000 MT of volume.

Photo courtesy of BioMar Group

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