Nutreco and Skretting have been presented with the edie award in the category of Sustainability Product Innovation of the Year for an innovative concept developed by Skretting, Nutreco’s aqua division. The award was presented at an event in London this earlier this week.
This year’s shortlist included 131 people, projects, products and organisations that are together redefining what it means to be a sustainable, ethical and responsible business.
The winning product, Skretting’s MicroBalance FLX, is a feed for salmon containing zero fishmeal. The product is a result of three decades of research conducted by the Skretting Aquaculture Research Centre (ARC) exploring the potential for alternative raw materials to replace traditional, finite, marine-based feed components, while ensuring the growth, health and final nutritional qualities that consumers expect from their seafood.
“Marine ingredients like fishmeal are great ingredients for aquaculture feed, and it took a long time to fine-tune our understanding of the complexities in order to replace them,” says Alex Obach, Skretting R&D Director. “We have considered, among other qualities of fishmeal, the nutritional profile, digestibility and content of functional micro-ingredients. Our research was carried out in a number of phases, first looking explicitly at the nutrient requirements of the fish, then evaluating alternative raw materials, undertaking digestive and metabolic research, before finally proving that by clever selection and formulation, we can optimise the feed for the fish with no fishmeal, without any compromise on growth, health or quality.”
Jose Villalon, Nutreco Sustainability Director, and Trygve Berg Lea, Skretting Sustainability Manager received the Award in London. “We are extremely happy to be recognised for a product that epitomises our company-wide mission of Feeding the Future. Innovation is the core of our values and Skretting’s MicroBalance FLX is a great example of how we can use this innovative mindset to play a part in resolving the looming global food crisis,” says Villalon.
A long-time focus
“With aquaculture production required to more than double between now and 2050 to meet the demands of a growing population, Skretting is well aware that we need to reduce the pressure put on the planet’s resources,” says Berg Lea. “So, how can we grow sustainably? Basically, we need to produce more from less. Nutreco and Skretting are committed to supporting sustainable development of aquaculture around the world. This product shows our commitment, and highlights our activities supporting United Nations Sustainable Development Goals 12 and 14 – Responsible consumption and production and Life below water.”
Aligned with this ambition, one of Skretting’s most significant sustainability objectives has been to develop the capability to become independent of fishmeal. Launched in 2016, MicroBalance FLX is the biggest breakthrough in this work to date, when Skretting became the first commercial company to offer grower diets for salmon containing zero fishmeal.
In addition to the Sustainable Product Innovation Award, Nutreco was also a finalist in two other categories in 2019, Sustainability Leader of the Year (Jose Villalon) and Sustainability Reporting and Communications. The edie awards are organised by specialist sustainability publishing house Faversham House and began in 2007. The awards are open to businesses and organisations of all sizes across the public and private sectors. As a winner, Nutreco joins an illustrious group of former winners, such as IKEA, Unilever, Heineken, Tesco and Marks & Spencer.