Albert Heijn, the largest supermarket chain in the Netherlands and part of global retailer Ahold Delhaize, is the first retailer to commit to the project. The hope is that other retailers will get on board eventually.
“Farmed seafood is becoming an increasingly important source of protein as global demand, and the world’s population, grows. However, a significant constraint on that sector’s growth is its reliance on marine ingredients in aquaculture feed. For sustainable aquaculture supply growth, alternatives to marine ingredients need to be included,” said the consortium partners.
Skretting Ecuador, part of Dutch animal nutrition company, Nutreco, will produce feed that will see the partial replacement of two conventional shrimp feed ingredients, fishmeal and fish oil. The idea is to increase the diversity and flexibility of ingredients used in shrimp diets, while reducing the marine ingredient footprint in such a feed formulation.
One of Skretting’s targets in its Sustainability RoadMap 2025 is ensuring 5-10% inclusion of novel ingredients in feed formulations.
The fishmeal will be partially replaced by Protix’s insect meal, made from black soldier fly (BSF) larvae, while the fish oil will be partially substituted by Veramaris’s MSC/ASC-certified algae oil. The remaining marine ingredients will be sourced from seafood processing by-products, and all will be traceable back to MarinTrust-accredited fisheries in Ecuador. In addition, the soy in the feed will be sourced from deforestation-free and land-conversion-free origins.
This Skretting produced feed will then be used by Klaas Puul’s suppliers in Latin America to produce shrimp, in dedicated ponds, for Albert Heijn and, in the future, possibly other retailers.
Supermarkets in north-western Europe are increasingly sourcing shrimp from Latin America and are also looking to go beyond the requirements of aquaculture certification to identify additional ways to reduce risk in supply chains and provide more sustainable seafood, noted the companies involved in the project. “This includes increasing the use of novel ingredients and by-products in feed, and sourcing deforestation-free soy.”
Albert Heijn said the project is a perfect fit with its ever-growing sustainability ambitions. It has recently set a more ambitious supply chain (Scope 3) GHG emissions reduction target: from a reduction of 15% to a reduction of 45% GHG emissions by 2030 (with a 2018 baseline).
The consortium partners outlined how, over the next three years, they will continue to amend the feed formulation according to their own sustainability goals, drawing on developments within the field of shrimp nutrition, and adapting the formulation based on the rapidly changing ingredient market. Over time, they said they intend to increase the inclusion rates of insect meal and algae oil and look at other options to further reduce dependency on marine ingredients.
Last year saw Skretting publish criteria for its marine ingredient sourcing.