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Swiss salmon farm secures ova supply for growth plan

Egg delivery in Lostallo (from left): Farm manager Kévin Demondion, Benchmark RAS sales manager Harry Tziouvas, and Dr Kuno Jung, general manager of Swiss Alpine Fish. Photo: Benchmark
Egg delivery in Lostallo (from left): Farm manager Kévin Demondion, Benchmark RAS sales manager Harry Tziouvas, and Dr Kuno Jung, general manager of Swiss Alpine Fish. Photo: Benchmark

Switzerland’s first salmon farm has secured its ova requirements for the next five years through a long-term agreement with Benchmark Genetics. The agreement also includes technical support and knowledge transfer from Benchmark.

Swiss Alpine Fish is currently producing about 600 tonnes of Atlantic salmon in a land-based RAS facility in Lostallo, in the Italian speaking region of the country.

Every year, the producer imports six batches of ova from Benchmark Genetics Iceland that it grows to harvest size fish of about 3.5 kg.

A proportion of the salmon is further processed and smoked in a traditional process by the company; the rest is distributed fresh. The products are branded as Swiss Lachs and marketed to Swiss consumers.

Demand

Due to increased demand, Swiss Alpine Fish plans to expand its facility to 1,600 tonnes annual production by 2026/27 and therefore will need to boost ova supplies too.

The eggs from Benchmark will be delivered from its new incubation centre in Vogar, Iceland, which is to be officially opened in August 2022.

Dr Kuno Jung, general manager of Swiss Alpine Fish, said “The Swiss Lachs brand has a special position in the local market.

“We are dependent on suppliers that understand our business and the need for continuity of supply, quality and biosecurity.

“Our long-standing collaboration with Benchmark has been one of the factors behind the successful growth of our business, and the signing of the agreement demonstrates our wish to continue developing the relationship.”

Professional

Benchmark Genetics commercial director Geir Olav Melingen welcomed the new agreement:  “The Swiss Alpine Fish team are very professional and experienced individuals within the Atlantic salmon land-based segment, making it a true pleasure working with them.

“Continuing our long-term partnership is a commitment from both parties to making the land-based segment succeed and face the main challenges together.”