As the pioneer fund for sustainable aquaculture, Aqua-Spark*, together with Norfund, the Norwegian investment fund for developing countries, are investing $7 million in the growth of Lake Harvest‘s operations.
Established in 1997, Lake Harvest is a long-time leader in sub-Saharan Africa, with operations in three countries and a sales and distribution presence in seven. With its own distribution network and processing plant, as well as a locally embedded team with decades of experience, Lake Harvest is well-positioned for growth, according to Aqua-Spark. In addition, the farm is mission-aligned – adopting best practices that include education and training programmes for staff, as well as the sale of byproducts, antibiotic-free operations, and genetic improvement.
“We are very pleased to welcome Aqua-Spark as a new investor. Their values and vision are aligned with the remaining shareholders. Aqua-Spark has a long-term investment approach towards sustainable aquaculture and, with its new fund, will focus on Africa in particular. We look forward to working with the Aqua-Spark team and benefitting from both their knowledge and their ecosystem of sustainable aquaculture companies,” said James de la Fargue, CEO of Lake Harvest.
Aqua-Spark is launching a subsidiary fund focused on building infrastructure through vertically integrated farming platforms that support and stimulate outgrower programs to ignite the growth of a wider aquaculture sector, embedding it in local and regional African economies. Together with Aqua-Spark’s existing investments in Africa and farming investments still to come, Lake Harvest will function as one of the key platforms that Aqua-Spark Africa will help build. Lake Harvest is already established at a significant scale, which will accelerate the fund reaching its goals of Aqua-Spark Africa.
“We are excited to welcome Lake Harvest to our investment portfolio. Lake Harvest is a well-established brand for African tilapia, with strong footholds in various countries across Eastern and Southern Africa. Aqua-Spark’s investment model is an ecosystem in which our investments contribute collectively towards a more sustainable and accessible aquaculture industry. We see ourselves as a committed partner and look forward to contributing to the future success of Lake Harvest and its people as well as the sustainable African aquaculture sector in general,” said Mike Velings and Amy Novogratz, co-founders and managing partners of Aqua-Spark.
The investment follows hot on the heels of Aqua-Spark’s latest open-access industry report An Introduction to Tilapia in Sub-Saharan Africa, which offers an overview of tilapia’s potential to scale and meet Africa’s growing need for healthy, sustainable protein.
*Hatch is part of Aqua-Spark’s investment portfolio, but The Fish Site retains editorial independence.