Skretting must wear the “business hat”.
BioMar has long since stopped selling fish feed to Russia. The main competitors Cargill and Skretting continue, despite considerable dissatisfaction among their own employees. The sale of fish feed to Russia has become very controversial after the attack on neighboring Ukraine.
Skretting is wholly owned by Dutch feed supplier Nutreco, which in turn is owned by the investment company SHV.
“We deliver fish feed from Norway to Russia, and our Norwegian employees were quite fanatical about this. But they are far away, in Stavanger and not in Murmansk. Our Eastern European colleagues were also very emotional at times,” SHV CEO Jeroen Drost said in an interview with the Dutch business newspaper Het Financieele Dagblad (FD).
The question Drost answers is whether their employees, such as employees of companies such as Heineken, Carlsberg and Unilever, have been pressured to leave Russia.
SalmonBusiness has reported the feed shipping to Russia in a series of articles. The case was brought to the fore this weekend, after Norway introduced a ban on Russian ships. The freight had then gone with the Russian cargo boat “Aleksander Gusev”. Skretting now uses a Norwegian ship, “Silver Bird”, for the job of transporting feed to Russian fish farm cages in the fjords west of Murmansk.
The problem is complex for SHV, not least since the subsidiary Mammoth is a subcontractor to a gas project in Siberia, where it can not withdraw and has contracts that must be fulfilled.
“If not, it will be responsible for the costs of the entire project, which is estimated at around seven billion dollars,” SHV manager Jeroen Drost told FD.
He says that the management in the Netherlands shares the Skretting management’s disappointments and indignation, but that sometimes, “you just have to put on your business hat”.
“What you want is not always in accordance with what you can do. An extraction must be done properly, and the authorities in Russia are not calm either. They are very creative in finding solutions to adapt to western sanctions,” Drost says.