Chilean salmon farming company Salmones Camanchaca has signed a US $135m (£101m) refinancing agreement linked to sustainability.

It is thought to be one of the first, if not the first deals of this type for a fish farming business and involves DNB Bank, Santander and Labbank.

In return Salmones Camanchaca has pledged to reduce greenhouse gases and become carbon neutral by 2025, as well as increase the amount of harmless waste such as paper, cardboard etc that goes to recycling. The company has also agreed to improve occupational safety.

It also well timed because Chile is in the middle of a presidential election where one of the candidates is reported to be not well disposed towards salmon farming.

Company CEO Ricardo Garcia said: “Because this is part of the sustainability model we have been promoting since 2019, we are not a passive spectator in the face of global and Chilean challenges.”

Another aim is the reduction of the amount of marine ingredients that are used in the diets to obtain the harvested salmon (known as the “fish in-fish out ratio”). 

Garcia said: “In our case, by 2025 we are compromising a fish in-fish out ratio of less than 0.6.”

At the same time, the company announced that it will move part of its production to the Aisén region of Chile. This pledge follows damaging high oxygen levels and algae outbreaks that affected farms in the Los Lagos region earlier this year. 

Salmones Camanchaca, which is one of Chile’s oldest salmon farming companies, said it is also buoyed by the news that salmon prices are rising after historically low levels last year.

Ricardo Garcia, CEO Salmones Camanchaca

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