ROTTERDAM, NETHERLANDS — Louis Dreyfus Company (LDC) announced on March 25 a research partnership with Barramundi Asia and Temasek Life Sciences Laboratory (TLL) to develop optimal aquafeed formulations for the rearing of Barramundi fish on a commercial scale.

The tripartite agreement is the first collaboration to result from the Memorandum of Understanding between LDC and Temasek Lifesciences Accelerator (TLA), signed in November 2019 to support the commercialization of promising technologies for the advancement of agri-food innovation in the region. LDC said it also strengthens its participation as a shareholder in Barramundi Asia, following Barramundi Asia’s recent merger with Allegro Aqua, of which LDC held a 30% stake.

“In line with LDC’s growth ambitions to pursue downstream diversification and food innovation through strategic partnerships, we are pleased to embark on this venture with Barramundi Asia and TLL, which builds upon our strong relationship with both partners,”  said Thomas Couteaudier, head of LDC’s South and Southeast Asia Region. “Leveraging LDC’s commercial and logistics expertise, and presence across the global food, feed and ingredients value chain, we look forward to contributing to the realization of innovative and sustainable solutions to help meet rapidly growing consumer demand for fish protein as a healthy meat alternative.”

Peter Chia, chief executive officer of TLL and TLA, added: “We hope to harness our collective knowledge in fish biology, behavior and nutrition, to develop the next generation of precision fish feed that will address the twin goals of better feed conversion ratios and environmental sustainability, giving consumers a readily available and nutritious source of fish proteins. We believe that through this partnership, we will be able to significantly enhance the economic equation of fish farming through better genetics, improved feed, logistics and optimised farming protocol to help pave the way for Barramundi to become the species of choice for the tropics.”

Andreas von Scholten, CEO of Barramundi Asia, said the strategic benefits of improving the company’s feed conversion ratios and utilization of more environmentally friendly feed cannot be overstated.

“This tripartite endeavor is a major win and a step forward for Barramundi aquaculture globally,” he said.

The research program will involve developing and testing new formulations that deliver benefits, including improved feed efficiency, strengthened immunity, and the practice of sustainable aquaculture through the use of sustainably produced and healthier ingredients.

TLL will lead the research and development component of the program, with Barramundi Asia providing access to its aquaculture farms and nurseries for real-world trials, and LDC contributing to research funding and supporting the implementation of trials.