Startup looks to develop RAS based shrimp production in Scotland
Frustrated by the inconsistent quality and expense of buying seafood from across the world, two Cheltenham restauranteurs, Litu Mohiuddin and Rasel Mahmud, are creating an indoor recirculating system (RAS) to produce a reliable and affordable source of shrimp, initially for UK restaurants and retailers.
Called Land Ocean Farm, the startup is looking to address quality and environmental impacts of shrimp production through a local, RAS-based system.
Mohiuddin claims the quality of imported shrimp products is inconsistent, often poor, and they can be expensive.
“By building the technology and the network to produce shrimps in a land-based and bio-secure environment in the UK, we can provide healthy, nutrient-dense and pollution-free seafood at an attractive price – financially and environmentally - for restauranteurs, retailers and consumers.”
Farm491 supports entrepreneurs and innovators to help develop the UK’s AgTech ecosystem and promote the adoption of new technologies in the future of food production.
An incubator rather than an accelerator, it supports entrepreneurs to dive deep into their business potential with access to expert talks, research and development, commercial initiatives, mentoring and networking.
Leveraging aquaculture expertise
The startup has been engaging with aquaculture consultants, said Rasel, including Dr Malcom Dickson, who was a country director for WorldFish, and is a scientist and editor for FAO, along with François Brenta, a seasoned aquaculture professional, among others.
“We are also a member of the Scottish Aquaculture Innovation Centre (SAIC).”
Land Ocean Farm will be building its first plant in 2022. The RAS technology it is using has been developed over five years in a semi-commercial farm, Rasel told FeedNavigator.
“The first site will be in Scotland will an annual production capacity of 100 tons.”
The biosecure system will operate using green energy from an anaerobic digestion plant to provide heat and power, while water is recycled many times over and any organic residues are returned to the AD plant creating yet more green energy.
The team said they were not able to disclose any information regarding the feed supply for their RAS farm yet but that it will be species specific. They are open, though, to discussing this aspect with key feed players in the UK and beyond.
Land Ocean Farm also plans to partner with farmers looking for diversified income, to build satellite units for production and enhance the circular economy.
The founders have injected the seed investment needed to date to guide the project, but the startup is now looking to raise £3m (US$3.95m), with Rasel confirming that the team is actively talking to investors.
Meet the Founders: Litu Mohiuddin and Rasel Mahmud
Michelin Guide restauranteur and entrepreneur, Litu Mohiuddin, is the man behind Cheltenham’s fine dining East India Café, which he sold in early 2020, and the Memsahib Gin and Tea Bar. He has over 20 years of experiences in diverse fields of food & hospitality, fundraising, aquaculture, marketing and journalism and is co-founder and Managing Director of One More One Group.
On completing a degree in International Business, Rasel Mahmud hit the ground running working for Marks & Spencer as a Commercial Food Manager followed by a number of years in food and hospitality.
They met working at a restaurant during university days, reconnecting again several years later to combine their expertise at the East India Café and now on Land Farm Ocean.