ROTTERDAM, THE NETHERLANDS and GUANGZHOU, CHINA — Louis Dreyfus Company B.V. (LDC), a leading merchant and processor of agricultural products, and Guangdong HAID Group Co. Ltd. (HAID) on May 22 marked the start of construction work on a new feed mill in Tianjin, China, to be built and operated by their joint venture, Tianjin Rongchuan Feed Co. Ltd.

Under the partnership agreement signed by the two companies in December 2018, the mill will produce high-end aquatic feeds, including prawn feeds, as well as fermented soybean meal.

Situated on a 53,000-square-meter plot of land and strategically located at the center of the Beijing-Tianjin-Hebei economic zone, the site is expected to open by mid-2020, with an annual feed production capacity of 300,000 tonnes.

“We are very pleased to begin work on LDC’s first aquafeed facility in partnership with HAID — the world’s largest aquafeed producer,” said Margarita Louis-Dreyfus, chairperson of Louis Dreyfus Holding B.V. “This latest development in China underlines once again the importance we place on partnerships, as we implement our growth strategy.”

Hua Xue, chairman of Guangdong HAID Group, added, “With the increase in aqua product consumption, high-end aquafeed production has become an important part of our growth plans for the coming years. This joint venture with one of the world’s leading merchants and processors of agricultural goods offers an excellent opportunity to contribute to our mutual growth plans.”

Ian McIntosh, group chief executive officer of LDC, said the initiative is part of LDC’s strategy to diversify downstream into more value-added products.

“HAID is a key player in animal nutrition, and our complementary expertise is ideal to develop together in this arena,” McIntosh said.

China is the world’s largest supplier and consumer of aquafeed. The partnership between LDC and HAID aims to develop the biggest aquafeed mill in North China and leverage the synergies from combining soy crushing and feed production activities in one location.

“As demand for protein rises in a number of markets and consumer demand for healthy meat alternatives grows in China, aquaculture represents an efficient and sustainable source of protein and our move into aquafeeds is consistent with that vision,” said James Zhou, head of North Asia Region at LDC.

A major part of LDC’s recent growth strategy has been in Asia. On April 25, the company announced plans to invest in the planned initial public offering of Leong Hup International (LHI). A “pure-play” poultry producer, LHI has developed an integrated livestock and feed milling model, with activities in Malaysia, Singapore, Indonesia, Vietnam and the Philippines.

Last fall, LDC (China) Trading Company Ltd. (LDC) opened a new oilseeds processing plant, Louis Dreyfus Company (Tianjin) Food Technology Company Ltd., located in the Binhai New Area District of the Tianjin Free Trade Zone.

Louis Dreyfus Company is active in over 100 countries and employs approximately 18,000 people globally.