The Iowa-based ingredient company announced last week that it was growing its animal nutrition and health segment to create an aquaculture-focused division – AquaKulture. The brand debuted at the World Aqua Culture Symposium in Taiwan.
The new aquaculture division will address from the company’s understanding of industry trends and the growing role of aquatic species, said Lauren Burt, Kemin Industries spokesperson.
“Globally, nearly half of human food consumption of animal protein is in the form of fish and or shrimp,” she added.
“With the focus on ‘sustainable production,’ producers are quickly moving away from using wild-caught to farmed fish,” she told FeedNavigator. “Once we realized the trends in the industry, and knowing that consumer demand is high, Kemin saw an opportunity to expand our already existing aqua business and create the new business unit, Kemin AquaKulture.”
The move also is anticipated to help expand the company’s global footprint for aquaculture products and better meet industry needs, she said.
Establishing the new division is expected to provide additional resources to the unit and boost production of aqua feed and feed ingredients.
“As the global aquaculture market continues to grow, this was the right time for Kemin to expand and meet the market demand by creating a bigger footprint globally,” she said. “The new Kemin business unit can use the direct expertise of Kemin inspired molecular solutions and consumer insights toward aquatic species and aqua feed. We will use our 50-plus years of experience, expertise and innovation to apply our pioneering animal nutrition and health products and solutions to the aquaculture industry.”
The new division is anticipated to help the company meet a growing demand for products globally, including in India, China, Thailand and Vietnam along with the Southeast Asia region and Europe, said Burt.
The change also seeks to improve company alignment with the aquaculture markets while bringing both new technology and technologies adapted for local uses.
“We’ve seen tremendous growth in those areas and in the industry,” she said. “Now, we’re excited to have a new, complete AquaKulture business unit that will provide even greater resources to strengthen the quality of aqua feed and feed ingredients and improve the health and survival of aqua species.”
As the launch is global, efforts will focus on a range of farmed fish species and shrimp, she said.
“Kemin AquaKulture will offer a variety of products and solutions to help customers prevent microbial spoilage, strengthen oxidative control, boost lipid nutrition, promote better health in aqua species by enhancing immunity and ensuring water quality to optimize growth,” she added.
“The portfolio of programs will help aqua feed companies, aqua farms and fish producers to raise the healthiest aqua species with better growth, uniformity and economic returns,” she said.
The new division includes a dedicated research and development aspect that will involve work with several aquaculture institutes, and a customer laboratory service, she added.
Research projects examining shrimp production are being planned with universities in Thailand, while projects focused on farmed fish species are planned for institutions in Europe and China, said Burt.
“Kemin is primarily focused on the platforms in the AquaKulture program – safe solutions, efficient solutions, health solutions and farm health solutions,” she said. “These platforms cover and include oxidative control, antimicrobials, lipid nutrition and solutions for species health and the health of the farm.”
The company also has several building plans in process to support the efforts of the new division, she said. These include a shrimp research facility in India and a research facility in China that is anticipated to be completed in 2019.
“We are proactively investing to support the demand of the aquaculture and animal for food production industry,” she said. "In the past three years, Kemin has enhanced capacities across our Asian and European facilities. We completed expansion of capacity at our Singapore plant during 2017. We will be doubling our production capacity in India by mid of 2018. Our production capacity was enhanced at our Belgium plant during 2015-2016.”