January 3, 2022
US aquaculture firm recognised for creating seaweed that can cut cattle methane emissions
Massachusetts, US-based Australis Aquaculture was awarded the US State Department's Award for Corporate Excellence last month, in recognition for its effort to cultivate a seaweed species that can reduce the methane emissions of cattle when included in their diet.
Created in 1999, the annual awards recognise US companies "that uphold high standards as responsible members of their communities." They are also meant to reward firms that advance initiatives aligned with international best practices such as those outlined in the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development's Guidelines for Multinational Enterprises.
Eight companies were named winners in 2021, with two winners each in the categories of climate innovation, health security and economic inclusion. Nominations for the awards are advanced by the chiefs of mission of US embassies and consulates, primarily for work done internationally, with finalists and winners chosen by a selection committee comprised of senior US government officials.
Australis Aquaculture, the winner in the climate innovation category for small-to medium-sized enterprises, was nominated by the Chargé d'affaires at the US mission in Vietnam.
The State Department noted Australis became the first and only Fair Trade-certified barramundi-farming company in Asia in April 2021. In March, the firm became the world's first producer to earn recognition under the Aquaculture Stewardship Council's (ASC) tropical marine finfish standard for its ocean-based farm in Vietnam.
"Australis Aquaculture has pioneered climate-smart ocean farming in Vietnam's marine tropics and is developing technology to cultivate a seaweed species with the potential to eliminate methane emissions from cattle when part of their diet," the State Department said in its announcement.
"We are tremendously proud to have our efforts to bring a new model of sustainable aquaculture to the marine tropics recognised by the US government," Australis Aquaculture chief executive officer Josh Goldman said. "Tropical marine aquaculture remains one of the largest untapped opportunities for sustainable food production."