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BioMar CEO Carlos Díaz: 'Consolidation of the Chilean salmon industry in is definitely important'

Investment, consolidation, land-based aquaculture and the huge potential of shrimp farming are some of the key trends for BioMar's growth strategy.

Company Profile: BioMar

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Danish aquaculture feed giant BioMar is reinventing itself by creating new markets and increasing its focus on different species and innovative farming methods, all while maintaining its strong position in well-established sectors such as net-pen salmon farming in Norway and Chile.

The company made some important changes over 2018 with a strong focus on investment, and is eyeing new ways to innovate and participate in the rapidly transforming aquaculture industry.

Carlos Diaz, CEO of BioMar, outlined the company's key accomplishments in 2018 and his expectations for the new year.

What were the three most significant developments for your business in 2018?

It has been another good year for BioMar, continuing with the strategy we started three years ago, “Shaping the future," which is based on growth both organically and through new markets, greenfields and mergers and acquisitions.

2018 was our first year operating in Ecuador and really going into shrimp, we approved and started two investments to increase capacity in that market: a pelletized line and a extruded feed line. In addition, we opened of the ATC Ecuador, the most advanced research center in the country. We've grown significantly in this market and we introduced our brand and products successfully.

We also started the construction of our new plant in Tasmania, a state-of-the-art project that will serve that market and also export markets in that area.

Last but not least, our strategy of collaborations in the value chain with sustainability and innovation projects is resulting in some success stories in the salmon markets and in shrimp.

What changes and developments do you expect your business to undergo next year?

We see great opportunities in the shrimp markets where our products and concepts are definitely having great success; we believe we can contribute a lot to those markets.

Definitely the opportunities in China, where we are opening our second plant, will be very important. This is the biggest aquaculture market in the world and BioMar is already becoming an important player in the high value species segment.

Consolidation of course could be considered a challenge, but also an opportunity. We believe for Chile this is a great move and development, but for us it's also a big change, we need to be even more efficient and innovative in order to serve these large customers and continue to have a leading position in Chile.

We have been for years been leaders in recirculating aquaculture system (RAS) feeds, and with all the projects we are seeing around the globe for land-based production we definitely see lots of opportunities. Designing these feeds, which vary depending on the different facilities, will be a very big focus to maintain our leading position in this segment.

Looking ahead, what will be the three most important seafood industry developments in 2019?

I think the consolidation of the salmon industry in Chile is definitely an important event, which will materialize in 2019; we expect more news to come.

We also see the start of the first real big project of land-based salmon becoming a reality and starting to produce, which will mark the beginning of this development in different markets.

Last we will see an increasing trend for differentiation, branding and innovation in salmon products in different segments. As feed suppliers we will play an important role in this.

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