Our heritage – how a small family business became a global leader in aquaculture

The story of how Skretting grew from a small family business on the west coast of Norway to become a global leader in aquaculture, is really a story of openness, adaptability, and innovation.

The dawn of modern aquaculture

The Skretting family company started out in Stavanger as an equipment supplier for the agriculture industry. As the 1960s saw the birth of the commercial fish farming sector in Norway, Skretting started manufacturing fish feed. Their success was marked by the survival of two trout which were at the time reared in wooden cages. By 1983, Skretting was the first in the world to use feed extrusion for slow sinking fish feed.

The first trials with trout in Norway, 1960s

Leaving the agricultural roots behind 

The journey to grow into what we are today did not come without its challenges. At the start of the 1980s, capital to grow was needed, and 50% of the Skretting shares were sold to BP, who produced feed through BP Nutrition and Trouw International.  

By the end of the decade, over-production, fish disease and stagnation meant that Skretting was not making enough profit, and drastic measures were required. The agriculture division was therefore sold to the “arch enemy” in Norway, Felleskjøpet. For the Skretting family, this was a painful process, leading them to sell out completely, bitterly leaving the company behind. By 1990, Skretting had left its agricultural roots and was purely focused on aquaculture. 

United under Nutreco 

Throughout the 1970s, BP Nutrition acquired a wide range of animal feed and aquaculture companies across Europe, including what are today the Skretting businesses in France, Spain, Italy and Turkey. 

The animal feed operations in France started in 1953 and diversified into the production of aquaculture feed at the beginning of the 70s. By 1994, they had become Skretting France, and are today pioneers in the development and production of LifeStart feed. Skretting Italy’s origins go back to the 70s - they are now a market leader and reference point for fish farmers looking for a reliable partner delivering quality, services, and innovative solutions. Our Spanish operations started in 1985, where they became the Spanish market leader in fish feed by 1990, turning into Skretting España in 2004.  

In North America, Skretting Canada (formerly Moore-Clark), can date its origins back to the founding of the Clark Co. in 1949 and the Moore Co. in 1959. The two merged in 1969, forming the Moore-Clark Co., which was bought by BP Nutrition in 1986, providing access to a global network of fish nutrition experts. In the same year, Moore-Clark installed North America's first fish feed extruder, showcasing its pioneering spirit. 

A management buyout in BP Nutrition in 1994 created the world's largest aquaculture company and one of the leading animal feed producers in Europe (and today, the world): Nutreco. In 2003, the Skretting name became the global face of all Nutreco's fish feed activities.

Continued expansion

Our operations around the world have played pivotal roles in pioneering new technologies, developing specialised feeds, and adapting to market needs. 

What is now Skretting Japan started out as Yamaha Nutreco Aquatech (YNA) in 1997 as a joint venture by Nutreco and Yamaha Motor Company. Their signature product was called Been’s, an extruded pellet rich in crude fat for yellowtail/Seriola.  The creation of this product sent shockwaves through the industry, as no one else was able to produce such a fat rich pellet in Japan. In 2005, the company name was changed to Skretting. That same year, Skretting Japan acquired Kirin Feed, and in 2008, the fish feed production facility Marine Net Co.Ltd. was acquired, allowing manufacturing, sales and distribution to be located in the same place.  

Skretting China started as Zhuhai Shihai Feed Co., LTD, established in 2002. The company was acquired by Nutreco in 2011 as their first wholly owned subsidiary in the development of China's aquaculture industry. In 2021, Skretting (Wuxi) Feed Co., Ltd. was established - the second wholly owned subsidiary of Skretting. From 2011 to 2022, it has repeatedly been honoured with the title of “National Key Leading Enterprise in Agriculture Industrialisation” - a comprehensive assessment and identification of enterprises leading in the revitalisation of the countryside. Today Skretting China has six shrimp feed production lines and three puffed feed production lines as well as being equipped with a disease monitoring centre, economic animal nutrition research centre, and an ecological aquaculture research base of 500 acres, among others.

Skretting Ecuador originally started out in 1990 as Diamasa, specialised in pelletised aquaculture feed and part of the Expalsa group, a family business focusing on shrimp products. With the beginning of tilapia production, a company named Gisis was created to specialise in the development and production of extruded feed for shrimp. As both Expalsa and Gisis grew, Nutreco saw an opportunity to enter the Ecuadorian market, acquiring 75% of the two feed businesses in 2013. Skretting Ecuador is today the market leader in shrimp feed in Ecuador and represents a significant contribution to the overall earnings of Nutreco.  

The next 125 years and beyond 

We have built our foundation over the last 125 years. In this time, we have continuously invested significantly in R&D, nutrition, and process technology, resulting in highly specialised competence. Our heritage is marked by key milestones that have shaped the landscape of fish and shrimp farming, as we continuously evolve and adapt to the changing landscape of nutrition. We don’t just produce feed – we also create complete nutritional solutions, including but not limited to feed additives, fish, and shrimp health products, as well as integrated software and hardware solutions for precision farming.

Skretting has gained the reputation as a trusted provider who cares about our customers’ needs, and as a passionate advocate for the future of sustainable aquaculture. The two trout that initially survived in Norway in the 1960s represented six meals at the time. Today, we have grown into a multi-national company that produces feed for more than 60 species, contributing to over 22 million seafood meals around the world, every day. Skretting, as a part of Nutreco, take our purpose of Feeding the Future very seriously. We intend to continue to do so for the next 125 years and beyond.

SEE A TIMELINE OF OUR HISTORY HERE