Regional aqua feed producer Grobest Group has come up with the ‘win-win-win’ concept as part of its agenda to develop the aquaculture ecosystem collaboratively and sustainably.
There are challenges in developing the aquaculture ecosystem. In its research, Rabobank found that many Asian farmers still prefer low-priced and farm-made feed.
Nevertheless, the industry is continuously moving from backyard operations to an industrialized supply chain. Therefore, Rabobank suggested that farmers should focus more on feed performance rather than on cost.
Kristin Veriga, Grobest’s Chief Marketing Officer told Asian Agribiz that the perspective of looking at feed as a cost driver must be changed.
“I don’t think the feed industry has done a great job in communicating what edge, value or performance their feed offers. This has not been communicated clearly to farmers, so the farming community in general gravitates to lowest cost per kilo,” Mr Veriga said.
At Grobest, Mr Veriga and his team have been communicating the impact of their feed on the output, harvest yield, and profitability. Grobest believes these are meaningful points for farmers.
“In our win-win-win concept, we address values the farmers can enjoy when they use commercial and functional performance feed. If they focus on better yield and profitability, this will allow us as a feed producer to provide better quality feed.
“This will also positively impact the quality of their harvest, with better taste, color, and texture. So, the farmers win, we win, and end-consumers win,” he explained.
The most powerful way to convince farmers to use commercial and functional performance feed, according to Mr Kristin, is by getting them to see results.
“Let them see the value and performance. We have developed demonstration and data systems to show that our feed can increase yield and profitability to farmers. Particularly our functional performance feed that can enhance growth, immunity, and health of the animals,” he said.
At Grobest, sustainability is all encompassing. Again, collaborative efforts between farmers and feed producers are needed for this, said Mr Kristin.
The first thing is to develop SOPs for farming. “In our SOPs, we don’t recommend the use of antibiotics, and we don’t use antibiotics in our feed. We have our functional performance feed that can boost immunity and mitigate the impact of disease,” he said.
The next thing is feed innovation. Grobest believes that the role of feed is about providing nutrient accessibility to animals while reducing polluting components to the environment.
“In our r&d we take a unique biotech approach. We use some fermentation techniques to develop both our feed and our functional additives. This allows us to deliver enhanced nutrition availability with reduced polluting impact,” Mr Kristin revealed.
“We also look at some new technologies that can prevent leaching of ingredients by up to 65% in the water. These new technologies that we are working on promise better water quality and significant reduction on environmental footprint.”
Grobest also wants to be a leader in sourcing responsibly. It only sources sustainable and certified ingredients for its feed.
“We produce and deliver quality feed with sustainability credentials. By using the feed, farmers can increase harvest yield and profitability and reduce their environmental footprint,” Mr Kristin explained.
He concluded that Grobest’s mission is not only to sustainably feed the world by giving better access to aquaculture products, “but also to make sure that we are not damaging the environment and keep it fresh for the next farming generation.”