Japanese major trading house Itochu signs deal to sell land-based farmed salmon

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Pure Salmon has secured a distribution partner for the 10,000 tonnes of Atlantic salmon it will produce annually from its Soul of Japan facility in Tsu City, Japan.

In October, SalmonBusiness broke the story about asset management firm 8F’s company Pure Salmon and its USD 162 million fully integrated RAS salmon farm, with hatchery, grow-out and processing facilities in Japan.

Largest
In a press release on Thursday, Pure Salmon wrote that the new facility is due to be finished in 2021, but “such is the demand for clean, high-quality, sustainable salmon in the region, the Japanese trading giant Itochu has already agreed to distribute the locally produced fish under the brand name ‘Soul of Japan’”.

“This is a major vote of confidence in Pure Salmon’s business vision, from one of Asia’s most prestigious trading corporations. The deal is a major step towards the firm’s aim of becoming a world leader in the supply of clean, sustainable salmon, free of antibiotics, pesticides, hormones and microplastics,” wrote Pure Salmon.

The Tsu City facility of Mie Prefecture is an optimum distance from Tokyo, Nagoya and Osaka, allowing easy distribution to Japan’s most populous main consumption centres. At 137,000 square metres, it will be the largest land-based salmon farm ever built in Asia.

Itochu
Itochu Chief Operation Officer for Fresh Food Division Kenichi Tai said: “We are delighted to have signed this landmark agreement with Soul of Japan which will bring fresh, healthy and sustainable salmon to our customers in the Japanese market. We also look forward to developing and broadening this relationship in the future to include other markets where Pure Salmon is building land-based salmon facilities.”

Pure Salmon Board Director and 8F Asset Management Chairman and Founder Stephane Farouze said: “This agreement, with one of the largest and most respected distribution partners in the region, is further proof of the huge appetite in Asia for fresh, sustainable, land farmed salmon. It is a significant achievement for us, and a major milestone on our journey to providing consumers around the world with safe, environmentally friendly salmon, free from microplastics, antibiotics, pesticides and other contaminants.”

Soul of Japan CEO Erol Emed said: “The retail value of this agreement is worth approximately US$200m annually. Our distribution deal with Itochu is a significant validation of our strategy and vision. And it should be a clear indication to the industry that, despite being a new business, we have a product and an operation that should be taken very seriously.”

SalmonBusiness also broke the news that 8F were behind what could be one of the first RAS projects in Africa, with a 20,000 tonne land-based salmon farm planned for Lesotho.

Projects are also underway in Europe, America and China that will contribute to Pure Salmon’s aim to produce 260,000 tons of salmon per annum in facilities around the world.