Lenk Frozen Foods signs European supply deal with India’s Zeal Aqua
Olpad, Gujarat, India-based Zeal Aqua has signed a European supply agreement with Lenk Frozen Foods.
Zeal Aqua operates 160 farms across 300 hectares in Gujarat, mostly growing Aquaculture Stewardship Council-certified black tiger shrimp, with an annual output of 2,000 metric tons. Zeal Aqua said it does not use antibiotics in its farming, and maintains a maximum distance of 25 kilometers between all of its ponds and its processing plant. It was the first ASC-certified black tiger shrimp farmer in India and also farms ASC-certified vannamei shrimp.
Bangkok, Thailand-based Lenk Frozen Foods sources and sells seafood including shrimp, cephalopods, clams, and fish from across South and Southeast Asia, with subsidiaries in several countries, including a growing presence in Bangladesh. Its primary market is Europe. Under the terms of the agreement, Zeal Aqua has transferred its European business development activities to Lenk.
“Being directly in the farming area and having over 300 hectares of ponds with fresh high-quality shrimp, we are even more delighted to have the privilege to work with our partners in Europe and supply them with Zeal Aqua’s farmed and produced black tiger shrimps,” Zeal Aqua Managing Director Rohan Navik said. “While targeting an output of more than 2,000 MT of black tiger shrimp from our own cultivation in 2023, we are planning to sell approximately 50 percent of the volume in the E.U. market through the new partnership with Lenk this year.”
Lenk Frozen Foods Managing Director Peter ter Heide said the move represents a next step for the company in its expansion toward covering the growth in popularity of black tiger shrimp internationally, both for farmers and consumers.
“As a partner of import, we want to strengthen our Asian network further by offering importers frozen shrimp products which are coming from producers who are providing a fully integrated supply chain, and includes processing shrimp of its own farmed materials. The main focus will be expanding the markets in Southern Europe, where black tiger is still a strong niche market next to vannamei,” ter Heide said. “Having collaborated with Zeal Aqua for years, an organization that appreciates the same values and has lots of similarities such as a proactive company culture, becoming official representatives was a logic subsequent step.”
Ter Heide said the move aligns with Lenk’s values of growing the availability of seafood from Asia in a fair, responsible, and safe manner.
“Screening the Asian producer network on a regular basis is part of our standard procedure, we will continue the same path as we did before though based on putting a stronger focus on products coming out of responsible aquaculture,” he said. “As we see the transition towards more vertical integration and transparency along the supply chain happening, we logically work with strong partners like Zeal who have vast expertise in farming and sustainability included in their business model, for instance, through ASC certification and by farming a native species to the Indian subcontinent like Penaeus monodon.”
Photo courtesy of Zeal Aqua