Published - February 4th, 2020
Nutreco announced on Tuesday 28 January that it has invested in Dutch company Kingfish Zeeland, which aims to bring supplies of yellowtail kingfish to the US and European markets through a proprietary recirculating aquaculture system (RAS). The investment underlines Nutreco’s ongoing commitment to Feeding the Future; the company’s mission to contribute to producing enough nutritious and high-quality food for a growing population in a sustainable way.
Yellowtail kingfish is a premium fish species, traditionally used in Japanese and Italian cuisine. In the US and Europe, supplies of the species are constrained with negligible local production. 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,” says Nutreco CEO Rob Koremans. “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.”
Viggo Halseth, Nutreco’s Chief Innovation Officer adds, “Kingfish Zeeland has successfully gained a first mover position in the premium RAS farming sector, producing high value yellowtail kingfish in a sustainable way. 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.”
This strategic funding round will enable Kingfish Zeeland to double their current production capacity of 500 tonnes per year, as well as prepare for their next steps towards large-scale production across both US and Europe. Nutreco is taking part in this investment round together with several other investors (including France based Creadev and Netherlands-based Rabobank Corporate Investments).
In addition to the investment made in Kingfish Zeeland by Nutreco, the companies will also cooperate on further development of best in class RAS feeds.
CEO of Skretting, Nutreco’s aquaculture division, and Nutreco COO Therese Log Bergjord says, “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.”
Kingfish Zeeland CEO, Ohad Maiman, comments, “We are excited to develop a partnership with a strategic industry leader such as Nutreco, and work closely with its aquafeed division Skretting. 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 US and European markets, and is a critical milestone in our development.”
Skretting is currently delivering juvenile feed to Kingfish Zeeland operations, and the companies will be working towards broader cooperation on the feed moving forward.