The seafood firm established Northeast Nutrition in 2007 after buying the former Shur-Gain aquaculture feed mill from Nutreco. At that time, Cooke Seafood was a $230 million aquaculture company with 1,300 employees. Twelve years later, the New Brunswick-based group now has annual revenues of $2.4 billion and employs nearly 10,000 globally.
Visitors to the site learned that the Truro fish feed mill currently employs 53 people and produces salmon feed for Cooke Aquaculture’s operations in Nova Scotia, New Brunswick, Newfoundland and Maine.
They were also updated on the progress of the five-year, $20.3 million investment plan which Cooke launched in 2016.
- Recent upgrades to the feed mill include:
- Replacing all bulk silos to increase available storage to 3400 tonnes (from 2400 tonnes).
- A new, larger grinder which increased capacity from 6 tonnes per hour to 16 tonnes per hour.
- New, high-powered extruder and dryer, which increased the plant’s capacity by 50 percent.
- Upgraded vacuum coating system to allow for increase capacity.
- New cooler to regulate product temperature prior to packaging.
- New screens and conveyors.
“As a result of these investments, Northeast Nutrition will produce up to 100,000 metric tonnes of fish feed each year from the mill’s previous production of 65,000,” said Matt Miller, general manager of Northeast Nutrition. “Our people are doing excellent work and all of our salmon is reared using feeds that are manufactured in compliance with the highest standards for animal feed safety.”
Cooke Aquaculture also explained how it is only half-way through its 2018-2022 capital investment plan for Nova Scotia, which will see $112 million being spent by the company on the Northeast Nutrition mill capacity expansion in Truro, a new AC Covert seafood distribution and retail centre in Dartmouth, along with hatchery and post-smolt facilities and seawater site and equipment upgrades.
In 2018, Cooke spent $231 million buying goods and services from 1,269 other local companies across Atlantic Canada. In Nova Scotia, 309 companies are in Cooke’s supply chain and they received orders for $51.5 million in 2018.