SalMar launches NOK 500m ‘Salmon Living Lab’

salmon swimming in green water

Aquaculture group SalMar has launched an ambitious innovation and research initiative, aimed at bringing different players in the salmon industry together for collaboration.

SalMar is calling on industry leaders and others involved with salmon to come together in what it calls “Salmon Living Lab”, to share and learn. Cargill, the global food corporation, is the first partner to sign up.

In addition to bringing partners across the salmon supply chain together, the initiative will also lead to the building of an innovation and R&D centre, which will house various activities and function as a focal point for knowledge. 

Gustav Witzøe, founder and Chairman of SalMar said: “Our aquaculture industry is at a crossroads.

“We have celebrated significant achievements in the past. We have succeeded in bringing large quantity of much sought-after salmon to customers and consumers worldwide. Now, we must acknowledge that we face greater challenges than we have done before.”

SalMar said that official statistics show that key performance indicators are trending in the wrong direction: fish mortality is increasing, fish welfare is more challenging, and the feed conversion ratio is going up.

“We must realise that there are simply too many gaps in our knowledge. We need to know more about the salmon which is the most important part of our value chain,” Witzøe said.

Gustav Witzøe

 

In addition to its expertise, SalMar will be supporting the initiative with a strong financial commitment.

SalMar’s investment is estimated at about NOK 500 million (£37m) to ensure that the project gets off on a good start. In future it expects that the costs will be shared among the parties who join the project.

The partners will be asked to contribute, but details are yet to be confirmed. When and where the centre will be built is also not yet decided

SalMar is the second largest farmer of Atlantic salmon in the world, and it is deeply involved in the entire value chain. It is involved in genetics, egg, fry, smolt, on-growing, harvesting, and processing.

Cargill, a trusted partner for farmers and food and agriculture companies worldwide, has been a key supplier and partner of SalMar for decades.

Cargill said the Salmon Living Lab is a continuation of this close collaboration with SalMar, and potentially with other key players in the salmon industry.

Helene Ziv-Douki, Cargill Aqua Nutrition President, said: “We believe that bringing together the holistic capabilities of SalMar and Cargill will drive greater impact in improving animal welfare and sustainability, ultimately protecting, and aiding further sustainable growth of this critical industry.

“There is a need for more collaboration to tackle the challenges we are currently facing.”

Helene Ziv-Douki, Cargill

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