Vogavik broodstock and incubation centre. Photo: Benchmark.

StofnFiskur renamed under Benchmark banner

Salmon ova producer StofnFiskur hf has changed its legal name to Benchmark Genetics Iceland hf as part of the unified branding strategy of its owner, UK-based Benchmark Holdings plc.

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StofnFiskur remains the brand name for the company’s breeding programme for Atlantic salmon and the genetic strain produced in Iceland. 

Benchmark Genetics Iceland has two separate broodstock units and an incubation centre and a family production unit at three sites – Kalmanstjörn, Kollafjörđur and Vogavik - on the south-western tip of the island, and offices near the capital, Reykjavik.

Jonas Jonasson: "The brand has a high emotional value".

Unifying brand

Construction process will soon be started on a new incubation centre in Vogavik, which will be followed later this year by the start of construction of a new family production unit.

In addition to Atlantic salmon, the company also has a production facility for lumpfish fry at another site, Hafnir.

Jonas Jonasson, chief executive of Benchmark Genetics Iceland, said: “This change is part of Benchmark’s strategy to build a strong and unifying brand name across the companies and divisions in the group. 

“For us, it has been important to keep StofnFiskur as a brand name for the genetic strain we produce here in Iceland, as the brand has a high emotional value for our customers and employees.”

Increased capacity

Jonasson said the company name change was “a visible symbol of the great steps we have taken both commercially and in innovation since we became part of the Benchmark Group in November 2014”.

He added: “Now we look forward to completing the new incubation centre in June this year. It will be a state-of-the-art facility that will help us significantly increase our capacity for year-round deliveries of biosafe eggs to customers all over the world, including companies in the growing land-based aquaculture industry.”

Pablo Mazo: "This moment marks an excellent starting point for our improved genetic material".

Competitive growth

Meanwhile, Benchmark has reported good performance from its SagaChile strain of ova produced locally by Benchmark Genetics Chile (BGCL).

Data from 33 AquaChile farms where fish hatched from the eggs are being raised show highly competitive growth, and a very low impact of SRS (piscirickettsiosis) on total mortality.

“This milestone confirms that our strategy is being well executed and gives a solid response to the expectations generated in the Chilean salmon farming industry,” said BGCL’s general manager Pablo Mazo.

“This moment marks an excellent starting point for our improved genetic material and inspires us to continue developing our strain, continually adapting it to present and future local challenges.”

Surpass predecessors

Mazo added: “The performance data of our strain in 33 AquaChile cultivation centres show a very competitive growth (GF3), a very low impact of SRS on total mortality and a measure of high yield or performance such as g / smolt / interval reaching more of 430 g / month. Additionally, high yield per smolt reaching an average of 5kg / smolt in the centres already harvested.

“We can only assume that this new generation of locally produced eggs will significantly surpass its predecessors, given that we have increased the selection based on diseases present in Chile, while maintaining the focus on growth and late maturity.”