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SalMar launch broad industry initiative – The Salmon Living Lab

The aquaculture industry has invested heavily in technology, now it needs to invest more in biology

At North Atlantic Seafood Forum in Bergen today, SalMar is launching an ambitious innovation and R&D initiative, Salmon Living Lab, calling upon industry leaders, NGOs, academia, and other people who live by and with the salmon to come together to share and learn. The global food corporation Cargill is the first partner to sign up.

Salmon Living Lab is a collaborative effort which starts now. In addition to bringing partners across the salmon supply chain together, it will also lead to building of an innovation and R&D centre which will house various activities and function as a focal point for knowledge. 

“Our aquaculture industry is at a crossroads. We have celebrated significant achievements in the past. We have succeeded in bringing large quantity of much sought-after salmon to customers and consumers worldwide. Now, we must acknowledge that we face greater challenges than we have done before, said Gustav Witzøe, founder and Chair of SalMar ASA.

Official statistics show that key performance indicators are trending in the wrong direction. Fish mortality is increasing. Fish welfare is more challenging. The feed conversion ratio is going up.

“We must realise that there are simply too many gaps in our knowledge. We need to know more about the salmon which is the most important part of our value chain,” Witzøe continued.

In addition to its expertise, SalMar will be supporting the initiative with a strong financial commitment. One envisions about NOK 500 million to ensure that the project get off on a good start where the contribution will be shared among the parties who join the project. Its partners will be asked to contribute, but details are yet to be confirmed. When and where the centre will be built is not yet decided.

The partnership

SalMar is the second largest farmer of Atlantic salmon in the world, and it is deeply involved in the entire value chain. It is involved in genetics, egg, fry, smolt, on-growing, harvesting, and processing. This means that the company already has deep and detailed insights into fish biology.

Cargill, a trusted partner for farmers and food and agriculture companies worldwide, has been a key supplier and partner of SalMar for decades. Salmon Living Lab is a continuation of this close collaboration with SalMar and potentially with other key players in the salmon industry.

“We believe that bringing together the holistic capabilities of SalMar and Cargill will drive greater impact in improving animal welfare and sustainability, ultimately protecting, and aiding further sustainable growth of this critical industry. There is a need for more collaboration to tackle the challenges we are currently facing,” said Helene Ziv-Douki, Cargill Aqua Nutrition President.

“To feed the growing world population and meet the increased demand for seafood, we need to work together. This first of its kind end to end research collaboration will help us bring the expertise of two world-class companies to the table in a way that’s never been done before to solve some of the biggest challenges facing our industry,” Ziv-Douki added.

Collaboration space

Salmon Living Lab is a unique initiative that seeks to engage an entire industry in solving the challenges the salmon face today.

“SalMar and Cargill consider us founders and catalysts of what we hope and expect will become a broad industry initiative. We are calling upon other industry leaders, NGOs, academia and other people who live by and with the salmon to come together to share and learn,” said Frode Arntsen, CEO of SalMar ASA.

The activities of Salmon Living Lab will not replace other company specific research and development initiatives by the respective contributors, and all of those involved will bring only data and information that they are permitted to share. Collaboration will also be organised within the boundaries of what is acceptable by competition authorities and in accordance with relevant rules and regulation.

“As an industry, we have invested billions in advanced technology. Now we need to invest in biology. Salmon farmers like SalMar and countries that host our industry have set ambitious targets for growth. The Salmon Living Lab initiative must be seen in this context. In order for SalMar and the industry to achieve the ambitious goals and deliver according to expectations with respect to sustainability, we need to know more about our salmon, and what the fish needs from us,” Arntsen concluded.

Please see www.salmonlivinglab.no for more information about Salmon Living Lab.

Contact details

Frode Arntsen, CEO SalMar
Tel: +47 482 06 665
Email: frode.arntsen@salmar.no

Runar Sivertsen, Chief Strategy Officer SalMar
Tel: +47 960 97 000
Email: runar.sivertsen@salmar.no

Helene Ziv-Douki, Cargill Aqua Nutrition President
Tel: +41 79 779 1264
Email: helene_ziv@cargill.com

About SalMar

SalMar is one of the world’s largest and most efficient producers of salmon. The Group has farming operations in Central Norway, Northern Norway and Iceland, as well as substantial harvesting and secondary processing operations. In addition, the company is operating within offshore aquaculture through the company SalMar Aker Ocean and SalMar owns 50% of the shares in Scottish Sea Farms Ltd.

See www.salmar.no for more information about the company.

About Cargill

Cargill is committed to providing food, ingredients, agricultural solutions, and industrial products to nourish the world in a safe, responsible, and sustainable way. Sitting at the heart of the supply chain, we partner with farmers and customers to source, make and deliver products that are vital for living. 

Our 160,000 team members innovate with purpose, providing customers with life’s essentials so businesses can grow, communities prosper, and consumers live well. With 159 years of experience as a family company, we look ahead while remaining true to our values. We put people first. We reach higher. We do the right thing—today and for generations to come. For more information, visit Cargill.com and our News Center