Stopping the use of forage fish "could have detrimental effects on responsibly managed reduction fisheries", says Skretting.

Skretting sticks with ‘selective’ forage fish use

Feed manufacturer Skretting has voiced its support for the continued use of marine ingredients as well as alternative sources.

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Skretting has been a leader in evaluating novel ingredients such as insect-based protein and marine algal oil, and last won an award for its MicroBalance FLX range, the world’s first commercial salmon feeds capable of being free of fishmeal and other marine proteins.

It also produces N3, a salmonid diet that utilises algal oil supplied by Veramaris to reduce or even remove fish oil from the formulation.

Skretting has published its Sustainability Report for 2018.

Relatively abundant

In its 2018 Sustainability Report, the Nutreco-owned company pointed out that while novel ingredients offer an opportunity to overcome the risk of a raw materials gap, scalability is essential to their successful application.

And it added: “While we’re working to reduce the reliance on marine ingredients, we shouldn’t completely stop using these sustainably sourced raw materials that are available to us.

“We have to recognise that to do so could have detrimental effects on responsibly managed reduction fisheries. Because both fishmeal and fish oil still remain relatively abundant and provide natural, well-balanced sources of high-quality protein and energy for aquaculture feed formulation, we will continue to utilise them in our diets.

“However, we will be striving to do that much more selectively, while also giving new technologies the platform to make tangible contributions to future food production.”

Therese Log Bergjord: "Embracing" digital transformation. Photo: Skretting.

Blockchain transparency

In her introduction to the report, Skretting chief executive Therese Log Bergjord said while many people may be tired of hearing that the world is in the midst of a digital transformation, Skretting was “embracing and responding to this change”.

“Precision farming, the way that we use big data, artificial intelligence and blockchain transparency are all part of our daily conversations and will have a huge impact on the way we move forward.”

Bergjord said feed producers operated in a system where they didn’t necessarily control the whole value chain, which raised the question of how they ensured that suppliers, or the suppliers’ suppliers, were undertaking their business in an ethical and safe manner?

“Using blockchain technology, we can develop one of the most transparent supply chains in the world,” said the executive.

Soy supply allegations

Bergjord continued: “While we have made some excellent progress, we must also acknowledge challenges that we face, including serious allegations against our soy supply chain in 2018.

“After a report alleging our suppliers were engaged in illegal activities was released, we conducted an independent audit against our Supplier Code of Conduct. At the same time, we requested the auditor examine other allegations.

“The audits found no evidence based on recent transactions that any of our suppliers have bought from soy farms engaged in illegal activities linked to deforestation, ‘slave like’ labour or illegal pesticide use. Although this was a positive outcome, we see this as an ongoing process. We have a responsibility to ensure that the products we purchase are developed in a sustainable and ethical manner and are continuing a number of actions through 2019.”

Read or download the full report here.