Agribusiness desk:The Future of Fish Feed has announced that Guangdong Evergreen Feed Industry Co. is the winner of the F3 (Fish-Free Feed) Challenge, a contest to develop and sell the most fish-free feed for aquaculture during a sixteen-month sales challenge. The $200,100 grand prize was presented to Evergreen Feed Company during a special ceremony at the Global Aquaculture Alliance’s GOAL 2017 conference in Dublin, Ireland.
To offset volatility in supply and rising costs for fishmeal, aquaculture operators have been seeking nutritionally equivalent alternatives to wild-caught forage fish, such as sardines, anchovies and menhaden, as a main ingredient in fishfeed.
With the development and widespread acceptance of their proprietary “fish-free” fishfeed blend by customers, Evergreen Feed Co. has emerged as a market leader in cost-competitive alternative feeds for tilapia and carp, which are the top two farm-raised fish in the world by volume. Evergreen Feed Co. distributes its fish-free feed in China, Vietnam, Iran and Indonesia.
“The most important sustainability issue facing aquaculture is the feed issue,” Guangdong Evergreen Feed Industry Co. President Chen Dan said in a statement. “Global wild fisheries resources are currently being depleted to alarming levels and our oceans may be empty soon if we don’t do anything to stop overfishing and reduce the pressure on wild-fish stocks.”
Over 120,000 metric tons of fish-free feed was sold by the global participants of the F3 (Fish-Free Feed) Challenge since the sales contest to encourage innovation of alternative ingredients for aquafeeds launched in May 2016. The amount of fish-free aquafeed sold during the 16-month contest is estimated to have saved over 120 million forage fish from being used as fishfeed.
“We are pleased to award Evergreen Feed Industry the F3 prize to acknowledge its hard work and dedication to the widespread adoption of fish-free feed,” said University of Arizona Professor Kevin Fitzsimmons, a judge of the challenge and former president of the World Aquaculture Society, during the award ceremony. “Thanks to the great effort and commitment made by all the contestants, I’ve seen more progress made over the past 18 months to advance fishmeal alternatives than over the last five years.”
“It is important that F3 feeds are competitively priced,” said Chen. Evergreen Feed Industry Co., sold 84,691 metric tons of their fish-free feed during the contest, which is currently 7-10% cheaper than conventional fish-based feeds.
The team comprised of Myanmar-based Htoo Thit Co. and global animal nutrition company Biomin placed second with 34,600 metric tons, and in third place was Oryza Organics with 1,661 metric tons of fish-free feed sold.
During the award ceremony, Hank Paulson, former U.S. Treasury Secretary and chairman of the Paulson Institute sent a special congratulatory video message to all involved in the F3 Challenge in which he said, in part, “the world needs creative, innovate solutions to live-caught fish stocks. This is a very important dimension to food security and it’s very important to making the world a more environmentally sound, prosperous and safer place for our children and grandchildren for years to come.”
In Dublin, the F3 Team also officially launched a new contest last month to innovate a fish oil alternative that doesn’t rely on wild-caught fish. The F3 Fish Oil Challenge will award a $100,000+prize to the company or team that makes and sells the most fish-free “fish oil” to aquaculture operations or feed manufacturers. The University of Arizona, University of Massachusetts Boston, Synbiobeta, Anthropocene Institute and The World Bank are sponsoring the contest that aims to both support and streamline the aquaculture feed supply chain. Learn more about the new F3 Challenge.
Read our article in the latest issue of Aquafeed Magazine to learn more about the F3 Challenge and winners.