The company, owned by salmon farmer AquaChile, uses water from Lake Arenal, a volcanic reservoir fed by natural water tributaries along Costa Rica’s tropical Atlantic Coast that is “borrowed” from hydropower generation and delivered to rice and sugar fields after passing through the fish ponds.
Rainforest Tilapia exchanges 1.6 million gallons of water per day, 20% of the water in its ponds.
Its Oreochromis Niloticus tilapia are fed a “99% vegetarian” diet comprised mostly of mostly soy, wheat and rice husks.
Pond density never exceeds 4 kilos of tilapia per cubic metre of water, even when the fish are fully grown. Rainforest Tilapia says density in lake-grown tilapia farms ranges from 28-32 kilos per cubic metre.
“Today consumers are not only concerned about acquiring healthier products and in accordance with a balanced diet, but also want to consume all those foods that are the result of a production process that generates the least environmental impact,” said Rainforest’s production manager Jose Soto.
“We prioritise women-owned, local vendors and sponsor literacy and sponsorship programs for our workers. Working with a company like Whole Foods Market, which shares so many of the same values, is very exciting.”
Rainforest Tilapia has both Aquaculture Stewardship Council and BAP 4-star certifications.