Alltech looks to China for new production facility site, aquaculture research

By Aerin Einstein-Curtis

- Last updated on GMT

© iStock/Tuangtong
© iStock/Tuangtong

Related tags China

Alltech has signed an understanding with a Chinese conglomerate after a delegation visit to pursue aquaculture research, says VP.

The understanding was established after a visit from trade delegation from Guangdong province, reported Alltech. The group included regional representatives from several industries and took place earlier this month.

The memorandum of understanding on aquaculture research was signed with Evergreen Corporation, said, Mark Lyons, Alltech global vice president and head of greater China. The company is one of the larger fish feed producers in China.

“We will focus on improving food quality while decreasing environmental impact,”​ he told FeedNavigator.

The Kentucky-based company’s plans for future development in China also included the potential for expanding the company’s feed additive production in southern China through the establishment of another production facility, he said.   

Aquaculture research focus

Research objectives for the two companies would focus on ways to improve the sustainability of aquaculture production, said Alltech. Both also look got improve aquaculture nutrition and feed.

The need to improve aquaculture production is relevant in Guangdong province because of the dense population, said Lyons.

However, the province also is a leader in gross domestic product for the country, he said.

“Guangdong leads the way in terms of consumer innovations,” ​he said. “Therefore it is the best market in China to focus on these developments.”

In addition to efforts to improve the environmental effects of aquaculture production, the research is expected to focus on alternative feed ingredients and mineral use, said Lyons.

“We want to look at replacing fish oil in aquaculture production as well as replacing inorganic minerals completely in aquaculture diets,”​ he said.

Feed additive production in China

The proposed production facility would mark a regional expansion for Alltech in China, said Lyons. “Alltech already had a production facility in Northern China in Tianjin, close to Beijing,” ​he added.

“We are looking to increase our production while also logistically improving our ability to service customers in southern China,”​ he said. “And also [to] expand our offerings in the Chinese market by building a facility in Guangdong.”

The majority, about 70%, of the company’s products for the Chinese market are already produced in country, he said. The most popular product so far has been the company’s range of organic trace minerals.

The proposed facility would more than double the current production capacity for organic trace mineral products, said Lyons. “We would also have fermentation capability in this factory and a center of excellence for analytics,”​ he added.

The facility is set to focus on production of products aimed at producers working with aquaculture and monogastric species, because they are the main markets for animal feed in southern China, he said.

“Other ideas in discussion include locating our global procurement center in Guangdong,” ​he said. “As well as establishing the Asian part of The Pearse Lyons Accelerator program for agtech startups in the province.”

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