Friday, January 13, 2017

13/01/2017: Patrick Lavens, new business development & innovations director

 Patrick Lavens joined Inve Aquaculture in 1999 as technical-commercial manager for the European-African sector

In 2001 he was appointed Business Unit Manager of the new Health Division and became part of the Management Team of INVE. In 2010 he has been appointed Innovations Director of INVE Aquaculture, a division that takes care of R&D and product development, and combines this function with New Business Development.

Patrick Lavens
Before 1999, Mr Lavens was a Guest Professor in Aquaculture at the university of Gent, Belgium, Laboratory of Aquaculture & Artemia Reference Centre where he coordinated the research activities, (including international projects), on live feeds, fish & shrimp hatchery nutrition and broodstock nutrition.

He is (co-)author of more than 150 publications in international journals, and (co-)editor of several books. Mr Lavens was the President of the European Aquaculture Society from 1986 to 1988 and during his tenure he focused specifically on bridging the gap between scientists and producers and established close links with FEAP and EU-DG Fisheries.

Can you tell us briefly about the background of INVE?

First of all, INVE always has the goal to be a leader in specialty products, be it in larval nutrition, health and environment.

I believe that we have global recognition for our innovative role because we bring out performing and cost-effective products that bring a better production performance to our customers and new solutions to existing bottlenecks. Stimulating and caring for healthy growth and performance in aquaculture has always been and will remain INVE’s main driver.

In Europe and Latin America, we control our distribution but in Asia, which is logically our largest market, we are either doing it ourselves towards bigger clients as a key account approach, or through distributors with whom we have built up long-term business relationships with.

 Thailand, Vietnam, India, China and Indonesia are all important countries for us because they are also the biggest production units for shrimp.

How does INVE operate given that you are primarily under Benchmark but you are also independent?
As a company, we are still operating as we were previously; Benchmark is not directly interfering with our business operation, and as management we continue to carry out our role as we did in the past.

Prior to the takeover, INVE had put together a strategy plan with focal actions for further growth and becoming a strategic partner in this fast evolving sector. Joining Benchmark, we now have a perfect match: we now have a very interesting toolbox to serve our clients globally with a comprehensive basket of solutions, combining our advanced nutrition knowhow with in-depth expertise in disease control, diagnostics and breeding.

Benchmark wishes to set a new benchmark for (aquatic) food production and is putting together a number of high-value tools because there is activity on the health side f.ex. by developing new vaccine technologies and investing in diagnostics and veterinary services.

Every aspect of disease control can be taken care of by the Benchmark Group and then you have the breeding section consisting of salmon units in Norway and Iceland, in combination with the tilapia-breeding center in the USA and the very recent acquisition of the shrimp-breeding project in Colombia.

So together we have the essential tools to help shape the future of aquaculture - breeding, health and nutrition. We must now take advantage of the synergies between these units and become a unique knowledge and solutions platform that supports a sustainable growth and long-term success of the industry.

Read the full interview HERE.

The Aquaculturists
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