A few years into Kentucky, US-based Alltech’s expansion into aquaculture feed company ownership, the producer of algae and other nutritional technologies for animal feeds is continuing to find ways to increase its direct access to aquaculture companies.
Through its acquisition of Dutch aquatic feed supplier Coppens International a year ago, Alltech gained direct ownership—for the first time—in a feed company. This added Coppens' 60 feed production operations around the world to Alltech's slate of assets, a major benefit for a company aiming to popularize the use of algae by feed companies.
“When you own the fish feed company, it’s much easier to convince the company to put the algae in the product,” Patrick Charlton, vice president of Alltech and CEO of its subsidiary Coppens, told Undercurrent News. Alltech has already incorporated Alltech's algae-based feed ingredients into the majority of Coppens' products, which include a range of feeds as well as nutrition systems used in recirculating aquaculture systems (RAS).
Six months ago, Alltech added to this investment with the purchase of a 51% stake in 43-year-old Brazllian aquaculture feed company Guabi. These investments build on the company's first aquaculture feed company acquisition in July of 2015, Produs Aqua, which is now part of Alltech Norway.
Guabi became a strategic partner of Coppens. Early this year, the two companies began discussions on new opportunities, with algae technology expected to be a major focus, the company said in a release.
Meanwhile, Coppens, is in the midst of a $1 million expansion to its research center in the Netherlands to enable it to work with more fish species and provide training for employees and customers. The center will open in September.
Alltech’s latest strategy for enhancing direct access to aquaculture companies is to provide guidance to up-and-coming operations. It became a sponsor of Fish 2.0, the seafood business innovation competition that puts industry innovators before investors, which will hold its final event in November in Stanford, California. Through this, Alltech will provide a contestant with the opportunity to meet with members of its innovations team at its offices in Lexington, Kentucky, where it has one of the world’s largest algae production sites.
Alltech, which has been producing algae commercially since 2011, is positioned well to provide expertise in a field that's a major focus of this year’s Fish 2.0 competition. Algae is the hottest sector at this year's event with over 10% of this year’s semifinalists operating algae businesses, Monica Jain, Fish 2.0's executive director, told Undercurrent.
“This is a significant increase from past competitions," Jain said. "Also, within the industry broadly, we’ve noticed a huge uptick in interest in algae. Many large corporate businesses, both in seafood and in other sectors, are thinking about ways to use their knowledge of algae or to integrate more algae into their products or processes—when you mention algae, people perk up and want to talk about it.”
Source: Undercurrent News // Original Article