The Truro, Nova Scotia-based feed facility, Northeast Nutrition Inc, was started by Cooke Aquaculture Inc in 2007. At that time, Cooke bought the aquaculture feed mill site from Nutreco – previously it was the Shur-Gain aquaculture feed mill plant.
The Cooke family of companies includes vertically integrated aquaculture production and has an annual revenue of $2.4bn with almost 10,000 employees globally.
The Northeast Nutrition feed facility generates salmon feed for Cooke Aquaculture operations in Nova Scotia, New Brunswick and Newfoundland, Canada and Maine, said Joel Richardson, vice president of public relations for Cooke Aquaculture. “It was necessary to make the upgrades to support our farm growth,” he added.
“We are aiming to increase salmon production in Atlantic Canada and Maine. Manufacturing our own feed enables us to ensure a product of the highest standards,” he told FeedNavigator.
He said the company is committed to sustainably sourced feed ingredients, ongoing improvements to feed formulations and innovations in feed delivery,
The company is the East Coast’s largest producer of farmed Atlantic salmon, he added.
In 2016, Northeast Nutrition started to roll out a five-year, CAD $20.3m investment plan to support the growth of the aquaculture industry. Several equipment and technology upgrades have been made that will enhance product quality, which will in turn improve fish performance. The company said some of the key recent upgrades include:
- Replacing all bulk silos to increase available storage to 3400 MT (from 2400 MT).
- A new, larger grinder which increased capacity from 6T per hour to 16T per hour.
- New, high-powered extruder and dryer, which increased the plant’s capacity by 50%.
- Upgraded vacuum coating system to allow for increase capacity.
- New cooler to regulate product temperature prior to packaging.
- New screens and conveyors.
Some “minor mill upgrades” are set to be finished in the coming months.
The investments in the production site mean that the facility will be able to manufacture up to 100,000 metric tons of fish feed annually, an increase from the 65,000 metric tons it generated previously.
The company’s farmed salmon receive a monitored diet consisting of “nutrient-dense, high-performance feed.”
The feeds are designed at the Northeast Nutrition research center, which provides product testing and oversees the company’s ongoing research and development.
The aqua feed mill is also Best Aquaculture Practices (BAP) certified.
In addition to the upgrade carried out at the Northeast Nutrition site, Cooke Aquaculture is making a $112m capital investment to expand several facilities Nova Scotia, with the work set to run through to 2022.
The project includes an additional expansion of mill capacity for Northeast Nutrition, new hatchery and post-smolt facilities, a seawater site, equipment upgrades, and a new seafood distribution and retail location in Dartmouth.