Nutreco invests in RAS based yellowtail producer

By Jane Byrne

- Last updated on GMT

Yellowtail © GettyImages/flyingv43
Yellowtail © GettyImages/flyingv43

Related tags RAS juvenile Creadev Rabobank

Dutch animal nutrition and feed group, Nutreco, has announced an investment in Kingfish Zeeland, a company, established in the Dutch province of Zeeland in 2015, which is producing yellowtail kingfish through a proprietary recirculating aquaculture system (RAS).

Yellowtail kingfish is a premium fish species, traditionally used in Japanese and Italian cuisine. In the US and Europe, supplies of the species are constrained with negligible local production.

Skretting, Nutreco’s fish feed arm, is currently delivering juvenile feed to Kingfish Zeeland, and the companies said they will also cooperate on further development of best in class RAS feeds. 

Also taking part in the financing round were France’s Creadev and Netherlands-based Rabobank Corporate Investments.

Kingfish Zeeland said the funding will help it double its current production capacity of 500 tons per year, as well as help it prepare for its next steps towards large-scale production across both US and Europe.

CEO of Skretting, Nutreco’s aquaculture division, and Nutreco COO, Therese Log Bergjord, said “Kingfish Zeeland’s knowledge of farming yellowtail kingfish in RAS coupled with our expertise on high quality RAS feeds will help further integrate farming and feed solutions towards optimal fish performance and will help further develop this highly sustainable form of aquaculture.”

Nutreco CEO Rob Koremans commented: “Over the past few years, it has become clear that the growing demand for seafood calls for development of alternative farming models such as RAS to complement the existing aquaculture methods.”

Cultured seafood and meat partnerships

The investment comes on the back of Nutreco’s recently announced strategic partnership with US cell-based seafood startup, BlueNalu​, and cellular meat pioneer, Mosa Meat​.

Koremans told us about the rationale for such investments earlier this month: “We don’t expect that people will all of a sudden stop consuming animal proteins though milk, meat and eggs, but we do see both BlueNalu and Mosa Meat as solutions that can help to provide additional sources of animal proteins.

“If we are serious about feeding the future in a sustainable way, we will need to produce protein from a variety of sources, including animal agriculture as well as alternative proteins.”

While the partnerships are focused on exploratory collaboration, there is an opportunity for Nutreco to supply ingredients for the culture media used by both startups, but such a revenue stream would only be an add-on to the Dutch group’s traditional agriculture and aquaculture focused business model, he said.

“Cultured meat is not going to replace red meat. We see that cell-based meat and seafood add to the options available for consumers. If we just continue producing animal proteins as we do today, that is not going to be sufficient to feed a global population of 10 billion people in the future,”​ said the Nutreco lead.

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