BioMar teams up with Auchan and Earthworm Foundation to launch new sustainable shrimp product

Developed together with Ecuadorian producer Edpacif, the new product line sets a new standard for responsible shrimp that is applied throughout the value chain.
Blue Impact BioMar feed at the Edpacific fish farm in Ecuador. Both companies have teamed up with Auchan and Earthworm Foundation to launch a new sustainable shrimp product.
Blue Impact BioMar feed at the Edpacific fish farm in Ecuador. Both companies have teamed up with Auchan and Earthworm Foundation to launch a new sustainable shrimp product.Photo: BioMar.

"Our customers are asking for more responsible seafood. To ensure we can provide it, we need commitment from the entire value chain," said Olivier Vandebeulque, Auchan Seafood Manager. To respond to this demand, the French distribution group has joined forces with feed manufacturer BioMar, Ecuadorian shrimp farmer Edpacif, and the international NGO Earthworm Foundation. The result is a new line of shrimp products that sets a new standard for responsible sourcing.

The new product line, which is now available in French Auchan hypermarkets just in time for Christmas, features the Mr. Goodfish label. This program, launched in March 2010 in France by Nausicaá, National Sea Center, aims to raise awareness of responsible seafood consumption based on three pillars: responsible feed, optimal farming conditions for animal welfare, and environmental impact, including social sustainability.

Minimising the carbon footprint through feed

BioMar's commitment to sustainability goes back a long way - to give just one example, it was the first aquafeed company to validate its carbon emissions targets through the Science Based Targets Initiative (SBTi). So, it is not surprising to learn that when the collaboration between Auchan and Earthworm came about, Henrik Aarestrup, Vice President of BioMar LATAM Shrimp & Hatchery, was the first to be contacted by the Foundation dedicated to reducing the impact of raw materials on people and the planet.

"During the project, we utilised our sustainability impact assessment tool (BioSustain LCA) to minimise the carbon footprint of the shrimp feed through meticulous recipe optimisation. We replaced fish oil with microalgae and sourced 100% of the marine protein from high-quality trimmings," he explained now.

In addition, BioMar's team of sustainability consultants also presented recommendations to Ecuadorian shrimp producer Edpacif on how to reduce the carbon footprint of the farming process, which, they pointed out, is a first for the Danish feed company.

Increasing circularity in the production

But BioMar was not the only company to try something new. Auchan also took advantage of this collaboration to offer a new way of marketing shrimp products. The French retailer decided to sell trays with only the shrimp tails.

"This innovation has two benefits: the carbon footprint associated with product transport is reduced by 40%; and the shrimp heads are processed and reused locally in Ecuador for animal feed, further increasing circularity in the production," said Olivier Vandebeulque.

For his part, the VP of BioMar LATAM Shrimp & Hatchery added: "Equally important is the fact that none of the ingredients used in the shrimp feed come from deforested or even tropical areas. Shrimp feeds can contain up to 50% soy, so responsible sourcing of this key ingredient is crucial to achieving good environmental outcomes."

Taking social sustainability into account

However, it is not only about the production and processing process. "A responsible shrimp also needs to take into account social sustainability," recalled Florie Loth, Ocean Program Manager at Earthworm. "In Ecuador, our shrimp-related activities focus on capacity-building initiatives to drive social change."

And, regarding this joint project of the Foundation with BioMar and Auchan, Loth added: "While the project helped enhance access to stable employment for the local community, Earthworm teams also worked with Edpacif to improve working conditions and provide better housing for workers."

Nevertheless, the workers were not the only beneficiaries, as Marcelo Velez, Edpacif S.A. President, pointed out. "We are grateful to Auchan, Earthworm and BioMar for the opportunity to work together on this important project, along with our partner Eurotrade Fish. The project allows us to strengthen our ESG commitments and improve our practices, while delivering an ethical product of the highest quality," he stated.

About BioMar, Auchan, Earthworm Foundation & About Edpacif

BioMar is a world leader in high-performance diets for more than 45 different fish and shrimp species in more than 90 countries, operating 17 feed factories across the globe. Founded in 1962 by a group of Danish fish farmers, BioMar's heritage is a long-term commitment to developing the aquaculture industry responsibly and sustainably.

Auchan is a multi-format and phygital French retailer bringing together all food retail formats from physical to digital. A responsible economic player, it supports agriculture and the agri-food industry by acting as closely as possible to the territories it is established in through the 57,570 employees of its 687 points of sale.

Earthworm Foundation is an impact-driven non-profit that partners with businesses, civil society, communities, and governments across five continents to reduce the impact of raw materials on people and the planet. To achieve this, it focuses on implementing responsible sourcing commitments in supply chains and innovating practical solutions to social and environmental challenges in all areas of sourcing.

Edpacif processes farmed shrimp using appropriate quality control, process, and traceability techniques. Its unique location on the Equatorial line reinforces its dedication to environmental preservation and responsible sourcing, adapting to its environment and developing state-of-the-art technology to ensure product safety and traceability, and compliance with socially responsible practices.

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