Thursday, February 20, 2020

the interview | Mr Eric Bell, Cargill Aqua Product Line Lead

Eric Bell is the Product Manager for Empyreal 75 and their new product, Motiv, overseeing product innovation in aquaculture markets. Eric has worked for Cargill for the last 26+ years. Eric has also spent time managing site operations and, in 2005, began working in a business and product development role.
Eric was instrumental in the development and successful launch of Empyreal 75 and has continued to lead successful management of this brand and explore new solutions for aquaculture and specific animal species.





What brought you into this industry, and to working with Cargill?
I began working for Cargill in 1993 in engineering and operations before making a career change in 2006 to work in business and product development.  My former manager, Dr Mike Lewis, had developed a very successful branded feed, Sweet Bran®, for the feed cattle industry in the US.
He had asked me if I felt I could develop a protein-based solution for the animal feed industry using the same business model he had created for Sweet Bran. That was the beginning of what became our Empyreal®75 protein concentrate business which primarily serves the salmon and marine industry. Motiv™ is one of Cargill’s next ventures into providing unique high value solutions to the aqua feed industry.

What makes Motiv feed so unique and innovative? 
Motiv is a functional ingredient that delivers a bio-active function in a macro feed ingredient.  This type of function has generally been associated with micro ingredients and additives.
Motiv brings much more than any single additive.  Through fermentation, the creation of a bioactive protein provides key nutritive components in the diet as well as a functional ingredient that helps with growth, feed efficiency, and minimising impact of disease.

Are there any specific challenges that are attributed to making feed specifically for shrimp?
As with any manufacturing process, the key is process control so that every batch the customer receives is consistent by design and performs the same day in, day out.  With any solution headed to the shrimp industry, water stability is a major consideration.  Most shrimp feeds globally are still pelleted so the farmer is looking for solutions that will stay in the feed and not leach into the pond.

Everyone is concerned about sustainability these days. How does Cargill address the sustainability question in its feed solutions?
Feed ingredients have a major influence on the sustainability of aquaculture. Everyone talks about sustainability. I prefer to think of our business as progressively responsible.  Raw materials need to come from sustainable supply chains, reducing competition for resources with other food production systems.
Aquafeed must be formulated to meet the needs of the shrimp in the environment where they are farmed, delivering on health and welfare while improving overall efficiencies and providing the nutrients that human consumers will eat.
As a supplier of feed ingredients to the aquaculture industry, Cargill focuses on working through the value chain to get the best results from our products and deliver healthy, nutritious and delicious seafood to consumers sustainably

How do your feed solutions influence gut health and disease resistance in animals?
Motiv helps create a better environment in the gut which promotes favorable microbe populations and improves enzyme activity. This improved environment enables the shrimp to better utilise the nutrients of the entire diet not just those contributed by Motiv.  This leads to less stress allowing more energy to be used for growth and improved resistance to disease.

What do you see as a possible challenge that the industry may face over the next five years, and how will your company play a part in prevention or solving it? 
For the shrimp industry specifically, the challenge has been and will continue to be disease for the foreseeable future. From a broad perspective, aquaculture production needs to more than double by 2050 to meet projected demand, according to the World Resource Institute (WRI 2018). We will continue to develop solutions to help sustainably drive this growth, including a focus on efficient nutrition and function to promote animal health.

Would you say that academia or hands-on training is more or less important for young people coming into the industry?
I would say they both play an important role for the industry.  While you cannot replace the value of hands on experience your ability to understand why and question the norms is really based on your knowledge level.  Pure academia does not make you an expert in the field but having the educational background coupled with hands on experience allows you help drive the industry forward.

What makes your company stand out from its competitors?
I believe our willingness to develop unique, macro ingredients for specific industries.  Focusing on the animal first, studying the industry, and asking the question ‘How Should It Be’ is important.
Our group has used this model to introduce unique brands in other industries such as beef and dairy. This model transcends beyond our products as it also is part of our service.  When you work with us, you not only get reliable consistency, but also a steadfast service model consisting of a promise: “you know what it is and you know it will be there”.
The roots of our steadfastness come from our experience as part of a global company that has provided food, agriculture, financial and industrial products and services to the world for more than 150 years. By being close to the farmers in every locality we serve, we deliver the nutrition they need for their success.

Do you have any projects or plans that we should look out for over the coming year from you and your company?
We certainly have plans for new solutions in the coming years, but it’s a little early to share details on these.


International Aquafeed - February 2020 available now!


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Wednesday, February 19, 2020

French retailer Supermarché Match sees 12 percent growth success in salmon

Trout produced by Truite Service, fed with a pioneering Skretting diet that incorporates a unique algal oil developed by Veramaris arrived on retail shelves in France this week, progressing sustainable seafood availability in the market to a new level. This breakthrough trout diet is the latest in a succession of collaborations between the two companies. In 2019, they made waves when salmon raised on a similar diet was first made available to French consumers by retailer Supermarché Match.

In addition to meeting consumer expectations for responsibly produced food, this proven new approach to aquaculture diets is also responsible for generating increased sales, with Supermarché Match recently reporting a 12 percent growth in its salmon category following the launch of salmon from Norwegian farmer Lingalaks, fed Skretting's aforementioned salmon.
 
'We are very happy to see Truite Service seizing on the opportunity to introduce our first-to-market diet. It's also extremely pleasing that retailers are on board in this supply chain,' says Elodie Petit, Marketing Manager at Skretting France. 'These new feeds are the result of decades of R&D by Skretting, and to secure such strong market support is a further demonstration that our long-term commitment to innovation is paying dividends for our value chain partners.'

As well as enabling trout farmers to achieve high levels of fish growth and performance, the new diet reduces some of the burden placed on the finite fish oil resource. Being rich in omega-3 fatty acids EPA and DHA, the algal oil complements the feed's other beneficial, responsibly-sourced ingredients, providing the opportunity to supply end-consumers with healthy and sustainable seafood products.

'With the well-known benefits of eating a diet rich in omega-3s, the alternative source that we provide complements the finite supply of fish oil from wild-caught fish, and trout and salmon consumers have access to sustainable and healthy fish,' said Gaëlle Husser, Global Business Development Director at Veramaris.

A sustainable future together
'It can take some time to bring the products to market, but the outcomes are clear for all to see – consumers are willing to pay for seafood that includes those novel alternatives that we are working hard to implement,' said Ms Petit. 'Equally, it responds to the crucial requirement from fish farmers to have access to new solutions that are financially feasible and offer true value to their operations.'

In addition, through using these products, Truite Service has not only shown a strong dedication to the development of sustainable French aquaculture, but is also benefitting from increased sales. The supply chain partners are committed to continue working to ensure a sustainable future together.

'Aquaculture is ideally placed to provide consumers everywhere with highly nutritious, healthy protein. This latest initiative also recognises how important it is that people have access to fish produced with minimal environmental or social impacts,' said Ms Husser.

Read more about the diet, HERE.

The Aquaculturists