BioMar announces strategic collaboration with Benson Hill to boost aquafeed sustainability

Soy farmer in a crop field. Photo: BioMar.
Soy farmer in a crop field. Photo: BioMar.

A leader in sustainable aquafeed solutions, BioMar has announced a strategic collaboration with Benson Hill, a food technology company that unlocks the natural genetic diversity of plants. The goal of the partnership is to enable the Denmark-based company to advance its responsible acidification program. It will do so by leveraging the American company's soy and further evaluating its impact on sustainability in high-performance aquafeed formulations.

Reducing the impact of the feeds

Feed not just holds the primary cost in the farming of aquaculture, moreover, it is the major contributor to its carbon footprint. BioMar is the first global aquafeed supplier to adopt the 1.5°C pathway, following the recommendations of the United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC). This commitment is driving the company to seek new ingredients and solutions to meet it.

"BioMar has made a commitment to reduce the impacts of our feeds, and 97 % of the carbon footprint comes from the feed ingredients", said Morten Holdorff Møjbæk, Global Sourcing Director, BioMar Group. "With our exit last year from the Russian raw material market, it was important for us to find suppliers committed to working with us to ensure we deliver on our responsible sourcing ambitions. Benson Hill's closed-loop business model, robust U.S. farmer network, and ability to trace back to seed make them an ideal collaborator".

Benson Hill advances sustainability goals throughout the ingredient development process. From monitoring regenerative and deforestation-free practices on the farm to producing ingredients that reduce water- and energy-intensive protein concentration steps in processing, the company offers high-protein soy ingredients that, according to its website, provide food manufacturers with novel sustainability benefits.

As part of the agreement between the two companies, BioMar is sourcing consecutive seasons of Benson Hill ingredients.

Meeting traceability demands

Global consumption of blue foods continues to increase. According to the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), excluding algae, it has increased at an average annual rate of 3% since 1961, compared to a population growth rate of 1.6%. In 2020, global aquaculture production reached a record 122.6 million tons.

Both companies expect this collaboration will demonstrate that reducing carbon emissions in the world's fastest-growing protein sector can be achieved while meeting traceability market demands.

"By working with a global leader like BioMar, we can help accelerate ongoing efforts in the industry to stand up fully deforestation-free supply chains and decrease the carbon footprint of products consumers love", said Matt Crisp, Chief Executive Officer of Benson Hill.

"Through this joint effort, Benson Hill and BioMar will be able to further research how high-protein, low-oligosaccharide, plant-based ingredients perform in aquaculture feed at scale, and potentially slash the use of one of the biggest contributors of carbon emissions in that supply chain. Stewarding our planetary resources is essential on the journey to accelerate transformation in the global aquaculture industry", he concluded.

About BioMar & Benson Hill

Founded in 1878, BioMar is fully owned by the Danish conglomerate Schouw & Co. They are innovators in high-performance aquaculture feed creating a healthy and sustainable global aquaculture industry. The company operates 17 feed factories across the globe and supplies feed worldwide to around 90 countries and for more than 45 different species.

Headquartered in St. Louis, Missouri, United States, Benson Hill empowers innovators to unlock nature's genetic diversity from plant to plate, with the purpose of creating nutritious, great-tasting food and ingredient options that are both widely accessible and sustainable. The company moves food forward with the CropOS® platform, a cutting-edge food innovation engine that combines data science and machine learning with biology and genetics.

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