maha, Nebraska-based Green Plains Inc. and Optimal Fish Food LLC, of Brookings, South Dakota, have announced the companies have formed Optimal Aquafeed, a 50/50 joint venture to produce high-quality aquaculture feeds utilizing proprietary techniques and high-protein feed ingredients. The joint venture brings together Green Plains’ production capabilities, commodity expertise, and back office knowledge with Optimal Fish Food’s intellectual property, industry expertise and customer relationships.
Green Plains and Optimal Fish Food believe there is significant room for nutritional improvements in aquaculture feeds through research and understanding today’s rapidly changing availability of ingredients, especially next generation high-protein feed ingredients that will be produced at Green Plains’ ethanol plants in the future. By incorporating high-quality agricultural products along with plant-based proteins, algae, and other single-cell protein ingredients, Optimal Aquafeed will be able to meet the unique and growing needs of aquaculture producers globally.
“Aquaculture is one of the fastest-growing industries in the world, and we have an opportunity to become a key supplier of high-quality protein aquafeed,” said Todd Becker, Green Plains president and CEO. “This joint venture perfectly aligns with our strategy to invest in high-protein process technology, providing us a pathway to a significant, growing customer base. We have partnered with global leaders in aquaculture feed formulation that will bring higher realized values not only for the high-protein products we produce but will also service customers worldwide that are looking for alternatives to traditional fishmeal-based feeds. We believe this relationship will maximize the value of our products, further reducing the volatility of our earnings in the future, as well as accelerating our confidence to invest in the transformation of our current ethanol platform.”
“This new partnership will help change the relationship between ingredient suppliers, feed manufacturers, and fish producers to bring a new approach to transparency, quality, and fish performance within the industry,” said Bill Harris, a Principal of Optimal Fish Food. “The market is moving away from traditional fishmeal diets, and the development of new high-protein products from Green Plains will not only enhance feed conversion in many species of fish, but also allow aquaculture producers to better serve a growing market of consumers looking for products that are not widely available in the market today.
“Incorporating novel high-protein feed ingredients into Optimal Aquafeed’s complete feed products offering provides growth and health benefits beyond today’s protein feed levels. As consumers globally demand increasing ingredient transparency, we believe that Optimal Aquafeed is ideally positioned to bring these non-animal-based, next generation ingredients to market in both conventional and recirculating aquaculture system-specific feeds.”
Aquaculture is expected to supply approximately 62 percent, or 93 million tons of the world’s seafood supply by 2030, according to a study by the World Bank. To serve this growing industry, Optimal Aquafeed will match appropriate feed formulations to the unique needs of producers’ fish species, rearing systems, and locales. The ability to create high-quality, high-performance feeds in specialized formulations will be key to sustaining and expanding aquaculture’s tremendous global growth.