The Alltech Coppens Aqua Centre officially opened its doors following extensive refurbishment.
The innovation centre will be a leading international aquatic research facility focused on excellence in feed solutions for aqua producers around the world, according to an Alltech press release.
The centre received more than EUR600,000 (US$720,100) in investment and will be home to an expanded team of aqua researchers focused on quality, innovation and the development of new applications in aqua feed. The new facility will also boost Alltech and Coppens International's aqua research capabilities whilst continuing to provide a practical platform for product development and solutions to meet the challenges of modern aqua producers. These functions demonstrate the long-term commitment of Alltech and Coppens International to the aquaculture industry.
According to the 2017 Alltech Global Feed Survey, the aquaculture industry experienced a 12% increase in feed production in 2016, reaching 39.9 million tonnes. Coppens International expects this uptick to continue. The trend also underlines the importance of investment in aqua technologies, according to Patrick Charlton, CEO of Coppens International.
"The centre will further develop our already strong aqua research programmes and allow us to significantly increase the amount and type of aqua innovation we embark upon," said Charlton.
Coppens International is already collaborating with Guabi, a leading fish feed producer in Brazil. Guabi, a 43-year veteran in the animal feed business, entered into a strategic partnership with Alltech earlier this year. Alltech is linking the two leading aquaculture feed producers from opposite sides of the world together to accelerate solutions for the aquaculture industry, hence demonstrating the company's commitment to developing a global aqua nutrition offering.
"The Alltech Coppens Aqua Centre will enable Coppens International to become a global hub of excellence for aqua research," continued Charlton. "To date, our research centre has enabled us to achieve global recognition for our recirculating aquaculture systems (RAS), and the refurbishment will allow us to continue to build upon this and to expand our work into different species, such as saltwater fish."
As the company intensifies its R&D efforts, works are already in place to increase manufacturing. Coppens' feed production facility in Nettetal, Germany, is currently undergoing expansion work and is set to open in early 2018.
One of Coppens International's primary objectives is to replace fish oil DHA with algae. Over the course of the last 12 months, Coppens International has progressively replaced the fish oil source of DHA in its diets with Alltech's innovative, DHA-rich algae technology, ForPlus®. The inclusion of ForPlus allows for a fully traceable, sustainable source of DHA omega-3 and a fish oil replacement. Neo Green, a high-quality, sustainable trout feed, is one of the many new products developed to provide customers with a sustainable alternative to fish oil and inorganic trace minerals as well as functional additives to support fish health and performance.
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