Aquasoja achieved its export muscle thanks to the strategic alliance with the academy, specifically with the ICBAS of the University of Porto. António Isidoro, CEO and president of the Executive Board of Soja de Portugal highlighted the important and close relationship of Aquasoja, the aquaculture feed subsidiary, with the academy, an area of collaboration that has allowed, after three decades of collaboration, become the group's main export asset.
As Isidoro recalls, the beginning of the company was conceived within the framework of a business plan together with ICBAS, the Abel Salazar Institute of Biomedical Sciences of the University of Porto, in Portugal. This collaboration agreement dates back to 1989, and its objective was to “develop and produce compound feeds for aquaculture, one of the business lines that today represents the largest volume of exports from the Soja de Portugal Group.”
The manager, whose career began in the banking world before joining Soja de Portugal, highlights how the collaboration with the University of Porto has strengthened over the years, being closer than ever today. “The relationship with the academy allows us to access the best possible skills, something that would be extremely difficult to obtain if the innovation processes were not internalized. Therefore, Aquasoja consolidated the innovation system over the years, based on the construction of symbiotic relationships with national and international universities and well-known research institutes,” added Isidoro.
“Aquasoja products were initially sold in Portugal, as part of a learning period. Five years after the start of operations, we began to export all over the world. And we have been increasing exports until now, where, 30 years later, almost 90% of what we produce is for export,” highlighted Isidoro.