F3 Competition a wide success!
The F3 (Fish-Free Feed) Challenge launched in Nov. 2015 on the HeroX crowdfunding site to encourage innovation of alternative ingredients for aquaculture fishfeeds that are as nutritious and healthy to fish and consumers as conventional fish-based feeds.
The contest is intended to help catalyse the development and sale of viable cost-competitive aquafeeds free of fishmeal and fish oils. Contestants from Thailand, Indonesia, China, South Africa, Australia, Pakistan, Myanmar (Burma), the Netherlands and the U.S. have advanced to the second sales reporting stage of the multi-stage contest to develop fish-free feed for the aquaculture industry. The second sale submission deadline in April 15, 2017.
The F3 Fish-free feed prize of $200,000 USD will be awarded to the first team to produce and sell 100,000 metric tonnes (MT) of aquafeeds that do not contain marine animal meal or oil by Sept. 15, 2017. This prize is intended to spark innovation in the aquafeed industry to find sustainable alternative protein sources that reduce pressure on ocean ecosystems to supply aquaculture fishfeed components and help meet global food security needs in the future.
F3 Challenge First Sales Results Announced
Earlier this year, the F3 Fish-Free Feed Challenge announced the first sales results for the multi-stage contest to innovate and sell fish-free feed for the aquaculture industry. China-based Guangdong Evergreen Feed Industry Co. is leading the race with over 48,000 metric tons of fish-free feed sold during the first sales reporting phase that ran from May 1 – Dec. 31, 2016. Myanmar-based Htoo Thit Co. and Biomin are in 2nd place with 28,000 metric tons of fish free-feed sold.
Belgium-based TomAlgae decided to become a participant rather than a contestant of the F3 Challenge therefore no sales for the company are being reported.
All sales reported during this first reporting period are unverified. F3 challenge judges will verify that all feed sold are “fish-free” per the contest rules.
Leading Aquafeed Companies Commit to Fish-Free Feed Trials
Several of the world’s leading aquafeed manufacturers and seafood producers announced their interest to trial fish-free aquafeeds developed by the winner or a finalist of the F3 (Fish-Free Feed) Challenge. The companies include Marine Harvest, Alpha Feed, Guangdong Yuehai Feed Group, and Dainichi.
“This is the first time that so many large established companies have committed to offering fish- free feed trials, which signals a turning point toward viable and cost-effective alternatives to fishmeal and fish oil,” said University of Arizona Professor Kevin Fitzsimmons, the former president of the World Aquaculture Society and lead spokesperson for the F3 Challenge.
The world’s largest producer of Atlantic salmon, Norway-based Marine Harvest has committed to offering a trial to the winner of the F3 Challenge, in the case that the novel feed or feed ingredient is appropriate for Atlantic salmon. The free trial includes covering the costs of a pilot- scale feed trial at their research facility and 50 hours of researcher time.
China-based aquafeed manufacturers Alpha Feed and Guangdong Yuehai Feed Group Co., Ltd. have committed to run digestibility and grow-out trials for the winner or a finalist that has feeds for their species of interest.
“The F3 contest will become a milestone in the development of innovative and sustainable aquaculture,” Alpha Feed Chief Technical Officer Deng Deng said of the F3 Challenge.
In a joint statement to the F3 Challenge sponsors, Alpha Feed and Yuehai Feed expressed the importance of innovation in fish-free feed is to “protect the environment and depleting wild fisheries, increase the resilience of the aquafeed industry to the fluctuation of fishmeal production and price, and to make feeds more competitive in terms of cost.”
Japan-based Dainichi also indicated a willingness to test fish-free feed developed by the winner or a participant of the challenge in an effort to shift toward more economically viable aquafeeds.