Aquaculture operating expenses are expected to increase by 300%


Given that the Norway-based global insurance company calculated this before the Russian invasion of Ukraine, the figure could be considerably higher.

“We looked at 2050 and ran some scenarios, we’re actually running those scenarios now because of the war in Ukraine. But, in 2050, we perceive that the cost of feed – not the cost of feed, but the OPEX – will increase by 300%,” said Lisa de Jager, head of aquaculture at DNVat last week’s Blue Food Innovation Summit in London.

“[We have] 25 years, we can still do something. But we have to find a system, otherwise we will be bankrupt because the food will be too expensive,” she warned.

Rising costs were a key feature of the two-day event and de Jager’s comments were made during a session on “strengthening transparency and traceability throughout the supply chain which included multiple references to this theme.

“In 2019, an interesting report from MIT suggested that consumers would only be willing to pay a 5 to 10 premium for sustainable products – we are much more than that now,” noted Laurent Develle, executive vice president and corporate affairs manager. at Royal sourcesone of the largest tilapia producers in the world.

Despite his concerns about soaring costs and rising feed prices, he stressed the company’s desire to continue sourcing only the most sustainable tilapia feed. While land-based ingredients may make up 90-95% of Regal Springs food, Develle pointed to the difficulty of ensuring key raw materials, such as soy, are as sustainable as possible.

“All we really want to avoid is, of course, sourcing soy from deforested areas of Brazil. But, knowing the other side, certain tactics or tricks are used, coupled with a lack of governance – let’s put it that way – in Brazil and elsewhere, which makes it very, very difficult,” noted Develle, who previously worked for one of the world’s largest global commodity traders.

“So…we need a bit of technology to help us, maybe satellite imagery…technology is needed, but unattended technology without implementation wouldn’t work. So you really also have to engage at the political level, governments in Brazil and elsewhere to really control the whole system,” he added.

“We like having the technology to separate the best practice producers from the rest. And that would help us differentiate our premium positioning with our retailers and consumers,” he added.

While salmon and shrimp were the most frequently mentioned species at the conference, session moderator Chris Ninnes, who is the CEO of ASC, noted that attendees should not overlook fish species. ‘pure water.

“We’ve been talking a lot about salmon over the past few days, we all know about the dramatic drop in FCRs for salmon, we’ve been talking a lot about shrimp and fed shrimp aquaculture, but if you look at carp production on a scale worldwide – something like 25 million tonnes, and it’s becoming more and more feeder production – that’s at least double, if not four times the total feed used for salmon and prawns combined. from a global perspective, we – as a concerned public – need to think beyond what is common to us,” he observed.


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