Beginning in October 2018, Lingalaks has been feeding 50 percent of their salmon production a diet produced by Skretting which includes omega-3 EPA and DHA algal oil produced by Veramaris. Feeding salmon with natural marine algal oil resonates strongly with the sustainability efforts of numerous retailers worldwide. German retail chain Kaufland is now the first to put the new salmon on the shelf. Kaufland and Lidl are part of the German Schwarz Group.
“Omega-3 EPA and DHA from natural marine algae allows us to produce healthier and better salmon. It also gives us the unique opportunity to differentiate our company within a competitive market. Our courage to pioneer a new and more sustainable production method using algal oil resonated well with our philosophy. By being the early adopter of this new technology, we found partners along the seafood value chain who supported us in realising our vision of superior, sustainable salmon quality and finding new outlets for it”, says Lingalaks owner Erlend Haugarvoll.
Veramaris, a Dutch-based joint venture of DSM and Evonik, orchestrated the stakeholder dialogue of players along the value chain over the past few years, from feed producers, farmers, retailers to NGOs. “Our omega-3 algal oil rich in both fatty acids EPA and DHA is a novel ingredient for better and more sustainable salmon farming, but sometimes it takes a lot of courage and the right mindset to take the first step to adopt a breakthrough innovation. We quickly realised that traditional marketing and sales approaches would likely be to no avail and we had to bring key stakeholders around one table. Only by collaborating were we able to make this change to current practice”, Veramaris CEO Karim Kurmaly says.
Increasing consumer demand for healthy seafood
Consumer demand for healthy and sustainably fed salmon is rapidly increasing. German retailer Kaufland sees great potential in the collaboration with Lingalaks and Veramaris. The company is pursuing a comprehensive corporate responsibility strategy of which the seafood portfolio, particularly salmon, is an integral element reflecting consumer demands. “Our customers have high demands on quality and competence of the assortment. The algal oil-fed salmon is an innovative and high-quality product that lives up to our customers’ high demands for good taste and healthy nutrition, and that meets the increasing sense of responsibility for conscious consumption of resources. We are convinced that this cooperation is a forward-looking decision", says Andreas Schopper, Head of Purchasing at Kaufland.
As a first mover, Kaufland has been supporting this trend-setting development right from the start. As of 2019, Kaufland will be offering Lingalaks’ high-quality salmon in its German branches. The feed for Lingalaks new salmon generation is provided by feed manufacturer Skretting. “As an industry leader with the knowledge to produce 100 percent fish-free feeds on a commercial scale, Skretting is very happy to support Lingalaks in taking this innovative step,” says Mads Martinsen, Director Product Development, Skretting Norway. “It’s not as simple as just substitution, and many years of research have allowed this breakthrough.”
Ensuring food safety through highly pure algal oil
The Veramaris algal oil is the only commercial non-fish source of omega-3 fatty acids that is rich in both EPA and DHA. Produced on land by fermentation of natural marine algae, the algal oil is of a high purity, free from sea-born contaminants, stabilised with natural antioxidants, excluding Ethoxyquin.