Leaders partner to supply sustainable shrimp to Europe

Shrimp importer Klaas Puul announced that it has partnered with Skretting, Protix and Veramaris to supply supermarkets across Europe with more sustainable shrimp from Latin America.

Leading Netherlands-based shrimp importer Klaas Puul is teaming up with Nutreco-owned Skretting, the largest shrimp feed manufacturer in Ecuador, and Dutch sustainable feed ingredient suppliers Protix and Veramaris to supply supermarkets across Europe with more sustainable shrimp produced in Latin America. Albert Heijn, the largest supermarket chain in the Netherlands and part of global retailer Ahold Delhaize, is the first retailer to commit to the project in line with its strong GHG emissions targets and broader sustainability agenda.

Farmed seafood is becoming an increasingly important source of protein as global demand, and the world’s population, grows. However, one significant constraint on the growth of the farmed seafood industry is its reliance on marine ingredients in aquaculture feed. For sustainable aquaculture supply growth, alternatives to marine ingredients need to be included in feed.

Supermarkets in north-western Europe are increasingly sourcing shrimp from Latin America. They’re also looking to go beyond the requirements of aquaculture certification to identify additional ways to reduce risk in supply chains and provide more sustainable seafood. This includes increasing the use of novel ingredients and by-products in feed, and sourcing deforestation-free soy. Sustainability is also high on Skretting and Nutreco’s agenda. In this context, three years ago Klaas Puul established a consortium together with Skretting and later Veramaris and Protix. Collectively, they decided to launch one of the most sustainable shrimp propositions on the market today.

“It’s an exciting moment for Klaas Puul, which is taking its role in the shrimp supply chain to the next level by helping global retail organisations meet their environmental sustainability ambitions. Working with partners like Nutreco/Skretting, Veramaris and Protix shows us how instrumental we can be in bringing more sustainable shrimp products to consumers across Europe,” said Alan Dale, CEO of Sykes Seafood and Ruskim in the UK, and Klaas Puul in the Netherlands.

Through this initiative, Skretting Ecuador, part of Dutch animal nutrition company Nutreco, will produce a new feed that will partly replace two ingredients, fishmeal and fish oil, increasing the diversity and flexibility and reducing the marine footprint in feed formulation. The fishmeal will be partially replaced by Protix’s insect meal, made from black soldier fly larvae, which recently achieved excellent sustainability scores in an independent Life Cycle Assessment. The fish oil will be partially substituted by Veramaris’s MSC/ASC-certified algae oil. This is a restorative source of the essential omega-3 fatty acids EPA and DHA, necessary for the health and performance of farmed shrimp. One hundred percent of the remaining marine ingredients will be sourced from seafood processing by-products, and all will be traceable back to MarinTrust-accredited fisheries in Ecuador. What’s more, the soy in the feed will be sourced from deforestation-free and land-conversion-free origins, making the feed proposition a significant improvement in terms of environmental responsibility compared with most conventional shrimp feeds on the market today. This feed will be used by Klaas Puul’s suppliers in Latin America to produce sustainable shrimp for Albert Heijn and, in the future, possibly other retailers in dedicated ponds in Latin America.

“This initiative is a great example of putting our purpose of Feeding the Future into action. Working closely with Nutreco’s Corporate Sustainability Director José Villalón, Skretting Ecuador will deliver one of the most sustainable farmed shrimp feeds on the market today. This will help us meet the targets of our Sustainability RoadMap 2025, particularly ensuring 5-10% inclusion of novel ingredients in feed formulations. We are proud of being part of this value chain collaboration that will move the needle forward to bringing a sustainable solution to end consumers,” said Carlos Miranda, General Manager of Skretting-Ecuador.

Over the next three years, the consortium partners will continue to improve the feed formulation according to their own sustainability goals, drawing on developments within the field of shrimp nutrition, while also adjusting to the rapidly changing ingredient market. Over time, the consortium will increase the inclusion rates of insect meal and algae oil and look at other options to further reduce dependency on marine ingredients. The consortium will also guarantee that all shrimp is produced from unablated broodstock and is ASC certified.

With ambitious sustainability targets evidenced in its pledge to reduce GHG emissions, Albert Heijn is the first major food retailer in the Netherlands to commit to purchasing shrimp that have been fed on this new, sustainable feed. For Albert Heijn, this project isa perfect fit with its ever-growing sustainability ambitions. It has recently set a more ambitious supply chain (Scope 3) GHG emissions reduction target: from a reduction of 15% to a reduction of 45% GHG emissions by 2030 (with a 2018 baseline). Taking the initiative to leave a better world behind is an integral part of Albert Heijn’s mission: “Together we make eating better the easy choice. For everyone.” With this programme, AH takes important steps to make its tropical shrimp supply chains more sustainable. For the planet, and for people.