“In line with our commitment to operational excellence and efficiency, we have been evaluating our algae production to ensure our future plans align with proximity to customers and the availability of raw materials,” said Susanna Elliot, head of communications at Alltech.
It said the decision to shut the site, which produces a heterotrophic high-DHA omega-3 algae variety, has no commercial impact; its algae products will continue to be available.
“Alltech has several options available for production. We can continue to deliver our algae solutions to our customers through our available stock, while we finalize our ongoing production plans.”
'DHA omega-3 algae is a critical for the future of animal nutrition'
When asked how the algae business is performing for Alltech, Elliot told us:
“This decision was based on operational efficiency. We remain in full confidence of the many advantages that our algae can deliver - from animal health to producer profitability to environmental sustainability to consumer health.
“We believe that our DHA omega-3 algae is a critical component to the future of animal nutrition. We will continue our research and development efforts in algae. We are also forging ahead to gain US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approval for our algae in poultry and pet feed in the US, following our successful approval from the Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) late in 2016.”
In terms of any knock-on effect on the staff at the Winchester production site, the company said it was committed to doing all it could to provide Alltech Algae employees “with a platform for successful transition into new roles either at Alltech or elsewhere.”
Alltech purchased the facility in September 2010 from Martek BioSciences (now part of DSM), and officially opened it in April 2011.
In an interview with this publication in May 2016, Alltech said after upgrades to dryers, the Winchester site was producing about 10,000 to 14,000 tons of dried biomass annually. However, it said then it was looking at ways to scale up production in the near future.