Canada covered for feed: Skretting

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Feed producer Skretting has said its fishmeal-free food has helped achieve a market situation where “Canada is covered”, SalmonBusiness has learned.

Asked to describe the state of feed supply in Canada, the company expanded on an older communique that reported they were a little behind orders but producing five days a week. They appear to have caught up: “With the current market situation and growth expectations, there’s sufficient capacity to match the salmon producers needs,” company spokesperson, Marit Husa, wrote in an emailed letter.

With fishmeal prices low in Europe despite relative scarcity and the perceived supply risk of the feed ingredient, Skretting offers MicroBalance FLX, the first commercial salmon feed to be completely free of fishmeal or other marine proteins. Despite the innovation, Husa said the company will continue to use fish oil and, for the protein, fishmeal, in its salmon feed .

“There is not enough fish meal and fish oil available globally to continue to grow the industry in the years ahead.” So “flexible feed formulations” aimed at reducing costs for farmers while sustaining nutrition are seen making up the supply balance.

She said the company has always added capacity where producers require and has recently improved its West Coast plant in Vancouver to produce higher energy diets. “This has required significant capital investments,” she said, adding, that no further expansion was needed “for the current market”.

Elsewhere, salmon production is increasing, and feed is the bellwether. “Skretting has seen strong growth this year in Chile, as it recovers from last year’s algae bloom,” she said, adding that “strong growth” was also seen in Canada and Australia.

“Norway, the largest market, has had challenges to grow in recent years due to issues with sea lice and other challenges, however we now see the salmon industry growing once again.” Held back by “biological challenges”, global salmon production has grown six percent every year for 30 years, she said, adding that there have been bad years. “In the main producing areas, all salmon farmers are trying to make the industry sustainable long-term. Governments will only issue new licenses to salmon producers if the house is in order. History shows that salmon producers and the total value chain, including feed producers, work to solve any new issues and create a solid growth platform.”

Husa offered a wealth of insights, calling salmon production the “technological frontrunner” of global aquaculture, with leading players “actively seeking heavy investment”.

“Most large producers have projects in the pipeline or on trial that are specifically aimed at increasing production without impacting marine environments,” Husa said.

This story was updated at 3 p.m..