We talked to Michael Witt, business development manager aqua feed, Agravis at Aqua 2018 in Montpellier in France last week to hear about the company's decision to expand into that sector.
The newly developed fish feed brand of Agravis is called Pescavis.
The company outlines its virtues:
- Extruded fish feed-controlled sinking properties
- High quality fishmeal
- Ideal amino acid profile
- Not subject to classification as GMO
- Optimal levels of vitamins and minerals
- High nutrient digestibility for low feed conversion rate and low water load
- Consistently high fillet quality
- Good pigmentation
- Adaption of protein and energy content to the size of the fish as well as the desired production target.
“Agravis is number one in Germany when it comes to feed for pigs, ruminants, horse and pet food. However, we are getting more and more international and, by virtue of that, we also looked at other fields, [and when doing so] you cannot avoid looking at aquaculture and that is why we started [in that market] last year.
“We have developed a portfolio for freshwater fish – trout, salmon trout, carp and sturgeon. But as we are also covering Eastern Europe and Mediterranean countries, we then added a range for marine fish – sea bass and sea bream – and also recently [we have moved into feed ] for shrimp.
Countries on the company's hit list
Agravis is producing and marketing fish feed directly to the aquaculture industry, to relevant users or distributors via agents, he said.
“At the same we are also a key player when it comes to premixes, so, in more distant markets such as Egypt where there are a lot of fish feed manufacturers, we are also marketing vitamins and micro-element cocktails for local millers.”
The wider African market is also on the German company’s radar, particularly the catfish segment in that region.
In terms of the gaps for a new market entrant to exploit, Witt sees potential for a firmer hold in some countries:
“Aquaculture is a growing sector and there are obviously also markets where none of the international feed players are producing, so everybody is importing there such as countries like Romania or Russia. So why should we not be have a facility there? We are already active there with our own agents or organizations, so why not give it a try?”
The German group also weighed up the market in Iran: “Iran is a bit tricky with the embargo situation. We have been there, we have already identified potential partners but, unfortunately, because of the Trump polices, we are not entering that market at the moment.”
Concluding, Witt said the key challenge for Agravis now, in this sector, is to make itself known as a new entrant. “So far, we have received good feedback from distributors and users on the products.”
He said the company is also looking at offering a full package for integrators, marketing water hygiene products, through a tie-up with a German partner, for the aquaculture production in selected countries.