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Well-balanced fish feed for a healthy farm business

Feed prices vary a lot in the aquaculture business. When they go up, the higher production cost is not necessarily reflected in the sales price to consumers. That can really put earnings under pressure in an industry where feed is the biggest expense.

For the fish feed specialists at Aller Aqua, ensuring the fish farmers’ profitability is an important part of the job. The Danish family-run business draws on 60 years of experience when tailoring feed products that balance farm budgets with the needs of the fish.

“Being close to our customers is how we differentiate ourselves. It’s not just about delivering fish feed. We have to be able to react quickly and spar with customers about how we can optimise their business,” says Henrik Halken, group vice-president.

Efficiency with a low footprint

Sustainable sourcing of raw materials plays a big role in that. By prioritising locally sourced raw materials, Aller Aqua has come a long way with improving cost efficiency and reducing the feed’s carbon footprint. At the company’s European factories, for example, the substitution of imported soymeal with local crops has cut CO2 emissions by 17%.

Henrik Halken adds that extra flexibility comes from the use of alternative raw materials, such as processed animal proteins for protein powder or rapeseed oil instead of fish oil.

Around 90% of raw materials today come from the area around our production plants, particularly in Europe. Because we’ve become really good at using what we have in the region, we transport less.

Tailored feed for 30 species

The Aller Aqua research centre in Germany is responsible for testing the palatability, digestibility and quality of new raw materials and their impact on fish growth and health.

Large-scale feed trials are then conducted at sites in China, Egypt, Zambia and China. These ensure the feed is perfectly adapted to each fish species under local conditions. Feed formulations have been developed and comprehensively tested for 30 species in all.

In addition to its factory in Denmark, Aller Aqua has production facilities in China, Egypt, Germany, Poland, Serbia and Zambia. Exports to more than 70 countries worldwide are  testament to the company’s knowledge and expertise.