The origin of our soy ingredients

Our Soy & Oil Palm Sourcing Policy, released in 2020, classifies soy and oil palm ingredients into four classes based on the country where the crop was cultivated and which relevant sustainability certificates it comes with. These classes support our purchase team on the road to sourcing deforestation-free soy and oil palm ingredients by the end of 2025 and allows for clear targets to minimise our impact on the world’s forests in the years to come.

When it comes to the country of cultivation, we are dependent on correct information flows within the supply chain, and we are aware that these information flows are not always as detailed as we would like. By engaging with our suppliers over the past years, we have managed to get a better picture of our soy supply chains than ever before.

Over the past year, new insights have led us to retroactively adjust the volumes reported per class for 2020. This means we are reporting a change in class distribution for the 2020 soy classes when comparing our Sustainability Report 2020 and 2021. The table (below) shows the distribution of 2020 soy classes as reported in both 2020 and 2021 Sustainability Report, where the data as reported in this report is most accurate.

Soy classes reported and sustainability claims.

Class A

The soy or palm oil ingredient is traceable back to a country or region with a low risk of deforestation or is from a region with a high risk of deforestation but purchased through a certification scheme which verifies no deforestation occurred.

Sustainability claim

Skretting’s soy and oil palm ingredients are deforestation free.

Class B

The soy or palm oil ingredient is traceable back to a country or region with a high risk of deforestation. For Class B, it must be purchased through a certification scheme with a defined cut-off date, using either massbalance or credits.

Sustainability claim

Skretting supports the production of deforestation-free feed ingredients from soy.

Class C

The soy or palm oil ingredient is traceable back to a country or region with a high risk of deforestation and must be purchased through a certification scheme that verifies no illegal deforestation occurred.

Sustainability claim

The soy ingredient meets the FEFAC soy sourcing guidelines, eg no illegal deforestation has occurred.

Class D

The soy or palm oil ingredient is traceable back to a country or region with a high risk of deforestation but purchased without any certification related to deforestation.

Sustainability claim

The soy ingredient(s) can be traced back to their country of cultivation.

Unknown origin

It was not possible to trace the soy or palm oil ingredient to the country it was cultivated in.


The origin of our marine ingredients

Our ambition is that by 2025 all fishmeal and fish oil we use originates from fisheries that are managed according to the FAO Code of Conduct for Responsible Fisheries. This means that our suppliers must be able to demonstrate that the fishmeal and fish oil is certified according to the MarinTrust standard (which includes Marine Stewardship Council certification), or be participating in an improvement project with the aim of becoming MarinTrust certified.

In addition to the progress specified in our sustainability reports, and aiming to bring more transparency, Skretting commits to publish the origin and environmental sustainability of wild-caught and farmed seafood sourced by our global operations through the Ocean Disclosure Project.

In 2021, 82% of fishmeal and fish oil originating from whole fish that was purchased by Skretting came from fisheries certified according to the MarinTrust or MSC programmes, or from fisheries that were part of a MarinTrust fishery improvement programme (FIP).

Pelagic sardines

Fisheries of origin of marine origin – reduction fisheries

Aquaculture feeds often contain fishmeal and fish oil that have been processed from wild-caught fish. Such fisheries are referred to as reduction fisheries. A reduction fishery is one that uses (or “reduces”) its catch to produce fishmeal or fish oil rather than for direct human consumption. After the fish are caught, they are delivered directly to a marine ingredients processing plant. Marine ingredients from reduction fisheries can also be referred to as marine ingredients from “whole fish”.

The Sustainable Fisheries Partnership (SFP) published an updated annual report about the world’s most important reduction fisheries in 2021. The report gives a global sustainability overview of the main Pacific and Atlantic fish stocks used for reduction purposes (to produce fishmeal and fish oil). The fisheries are rated according to the sustainability assessment presented on FishSource, SFP’s public database of fisheries information. Skretting welcomes the work developed by SFP and use it as a tool to evaluate the sourcing of our marine ingredients.

Thirty-two species made up 95% of Skretting purchases of marine ingredients in 2021 originating from whole fish. The most important species are small pelagic fish from fishing areas Pacific Southeast, Atlantic Northeast and Atlantic Eastern Central.

The remaining five percent originate from an additional 46 species. There are several reasons for the relatively large number of species registered. In all fisheries there is a certain amount of by-catch. When the by-catch is at low levels it is part of the legal fishery. In some areas the manufacturer of marine ingredients by law are instructed to register all by-catch. This means that when Skretting receives a consignment of marine ingredients, easily more than 10 species will be declared that might only constitute a few percentages of the delivery.

Another factor is that many fisheries are multi-species fisheries, especially in more tropical areas. Here it is possible to find a large species diversity and single species fisheries are not common.

Species and fisheries that make up 95% of purchases of marine ingredients in Skretting in 2021 and which originate from whole fish.

Fish meal

Fisheries of origin of marine origin – by-products

In addition to the use of wild-caught fish, the processing of fish for human consumption gives rise to a by-product that is not used in the final seafood product. These offcuts generated after processing are valuable as a raw material from which fishmeal and fish oil is often produced, and it is estimated that roughly a third of fishmeal produced is made from seafood by-products from fish for human consumption. The use of by-products is increasing as more whole fish are used for direct human consumption, and society becomes more successful at collecting the material and fuelling the bioeconomy.

Thirty two species make up 95% of Skretting purchases of marine ingredients in 2021 originating from by-products (trimmings), in addition to 46 additional species of fish that are registered as the origin of fishmeal and fish oil from by-products, but in lower volumes (< 5%). Marine ingredients from different tuna species are common, which is due to the tuna canning industry. The industrial processing of tuna makes it possible with efficient use of the trimmings.

The species registered as origin of marine ingredients from trimmings reflect fisheries important in human consumption. Hake, cod, pollock and different mackerel species are all important. We also see trimmings from small pelagic fishes like anchovy, sardines and sprat. Marine ingredients from farmed species like Atlantic salmon is also becoming important.

We cannot establish with certainty the FAO fishing area for these species because the country of processing might be different from where the original catch was landed.

Species and fisheries that made up 95% of purchases of marine ingredients in Skretting in 2021 and which originate from by-products

Learn more

Our Marine Ingredients Sourcing Policy – Raising the level of transparency of marine ingredients used in aqua feeds

Marine policy.pngTo protect the ocean and ensure that fish stocks intended for direct or indirect human consumption are caught within clearly defined, sustainable limits, in Q1 2022 Nutreco and Skretting published a new responsible sourcing policy which serves as a practical guide to decide on the type of marine ingredients that can be sourced for our global operations.

The document builds into the ambitions of our Sustainability RoadMap 2025, which aims to ensure that by 2025, Skretting sources marine ingredients that are 100% certified or coming from a fishery improvement project for our global operations, as well as ensuring that all the fishmeal and fish oil used to produce feed originate from fisheries that are managed according to the FAO Code of Conduct for Responsible Fisheries.

The policy is built on a risk-based approach, with clear sustainability classes and sourcing targets for marine ingredients from whole fish, by-products from wild fish catch, and by-products from aquaculture. It was developed through internal collaboration to reflect the realities in the markets and included comments and revisions from external stakeholders. We invited one of them, Sustainable Fisheries Partnership, to reflect on what this policy can bring to the market and the challenges that we still need to face.

Taking on big challenges in marine ingredients

Dave Martin.pngFor more than a decade, Sustainable Fisheries Partnership (SFP) has been working with leading feed companies like Nutreco/Skretting to track the status of key fisheries globally used in the production of marine ingredients (fish meal and fish oil), and support precompetitive collaboration to drive improvements where needed. Over that time, the overall sustainability status of these fisheries (as measured by FishSource) improved through 2017, but has since plateaued with some fisheries even slipping backwards.

Over this same time, business and consumer awareness of and attention to the sustainability of marine ingredients has expanded dramatically. Where once little attention was paid the sources of marine (and other) ingredients used in aquaculture feed, there is now increasing interest in full ingredient transparency and life cycle analyses. While driven partly by a general growth of interest in seafood sustainability, this increased attention is also the result of growing understanding of the not only the environmental challenges in some of these fisheries, but the potential for significant social problems including labor abuse, food insecurity and displacement of small-scale fishers. Recently, some groups have been using these concerns to demand that companies switch from marine ingredients to alternative protein (eg insects, algae) in the name of sustainability (with the sole argument that they are not fish, which ignores potentially major sustainability tradeoffs). It must be noted that while aquaculture feed is the main use of marine ingredients, these same ingredients are used in a range of other products including pet food, nutraceuticals, cosmetics, baby formula and others.

With all this in mind, SFP welcomes the new responsible sourcing policy developed by Nutreco and Skretting. It represents an expanded commitment by the companies to improve their own practices, and acknowledges that companies must do better faster to deliver sustainability. It also specifically calls out a number of key challenges and opportunities facing the industry.

Transparency: Buyers of marine ingredients must work with the whole supply chain to improve sourcing and traceability of responsible ingredients, and public reporting through the Ocean Disclosure Project helps demonstrate this commitment.

Traders: Global trading companies are an integral part of the marine ingredients supply chain (as well as other ingredients used in aquaculture and pet feed). They buy and sell huge volumes yet are largely invisible, and can make or break sustainability and traceability efforts.

Multispecies fisheries can capture hundreds of species in a single net and may account for as much as half of fishmeal and oil produced globally. There is as yet little international consensus on what “good” management looks like in these fisheries, let alone any adequate certification criteria or scheme (although work is underway).

Forced Labor and Food Security are two significant risks. Companies must conduct due diligence to work with suppliers to eliminate labor abuses, and must be committed to not source from fisheries that undermine local food security.

Increased use of byproducts is a good approach to increase efficiency, decrease waste, avoid food security issues and potentially improve local seafood processing capacity.

Key to addressing these and other challenges is the understanding that one company cannot do it alone. Which is why it is so important the Nutreco/Skrettying have participated in numerous precompetitive collaborations and are early members of the Global Roundtable on marine ingredients. SFP looks forward to working with Skretting to meet the commitments contained in their new policy and help address these global challenges.

Dave Martin, Program Director, Sustainable Fisheries Partnership

The role of certifications and why we use them

Voluntary sustainability standards (VSS) are standards specifying requirements that producers, traders, manufacturers, retailers or service providers may be asked to meet, relating to a wide range of sustainability metrics, including respect for basic human rights, workers health and safety, environmental impacts, community relations, land-use planning and others.

A certificate or label is provided to demonstrate the level of achievement of that specific product or service against the standard. Some voluntary sustainability standards are associated with consumer-facing product labels and claims; others are used mainly within business-to-business relationships.

In aquaculture there are several VSS related to farmed fish or crustaceans. In addition, the VSS set requirements that goods used in the production of the farmed species must originate from certified goods, including feed. The VSS of feed in turn prescribe requirements that raw materials used in feed production must come from certified sources. This has led to that many products in the aquaculture value chain potentially must be produced according to VSS.

There are several factors influencing the uptake of VSS in the private sector. Commercially, the achievement of certification can mean increased market access, being more competitive in some market segments and sometimes being able to achieve a price premium on the certified product(s). In other cases, private companies can also use certification schemes as a third-party verification of their own sustainability performance and ambitions – independent from direct market requirements. Industry segments with high uptake of certification can also use this as a public disclosure of sustainable industry practices in order to maintain their social licence to operate.

VSS may have shortcomings and negative effects in some areas. In developing countries, the cost of obtaining certifications can result in uncompetitive products, while the lack of certifications can be a barrier to trade in some markets.

Many small producers struggle to meet certification standards because of financial capacity or lack of competence, technology or general knowledge. This means that these producers do not gain access to markets where VSS are demanded. For Skretting, it is important to support and educate suppliers in areas where it is evident that they struggle to comply to VSS requirements because of lack of knowledge and competence. Private industry relates to many national laws and regulations. These laws and regulations are much more comprehensive and detailed than what can be referenced in private standards. National laws and regulations create a level playing field for the industry. This is in contrast to VSS, which often create several playing fields. It is more in the interest of industry to support the development of good and sound national laws and regulations compared to a multitude of voluntary
sustainability standards.

Duplication and overlapping between schemes can create confusion in the marketplace and might contribute to greenwashing. The divergent monitoring, reporting and assurance requirements of different schemes also increase the cost of compliance. There is no doubt that the uncoordinated development of many VSS is very costly for the aquaculture industry. The industry must look at better alignment between certification schemes and national regulations, in order to limit the amount of reporting and number of audits.

Governments are increasingly recognising voluntary sustainability standards as tools to require producers and operators to comply with verifiable environmental and social criteria. We also see that increasingly VSS are being integrated into public procurement and trade policy. This can help enhance the sustainability performance of global value chains. But certification is not enough, it must also be focus on developing and enforcing better public sustainability laws and regulations.

All details of certifications held by Skretting OpCos can be found at the end of this report.

How the ASC’s new Feed Standard is extending transparency and accountability across the supply chain

Alexandra Warrington.jpgCertification offers a credible way of recognising and rewarding responsible practices. The ASC standards assess whether aquaculture farms are operating responsibly and the consumer facing logo is proof of achievement in a market leading programme for the production of responsibly farmed seafood. However, to make aquaculture more sustainable, it is essential to address feed which can make up as much as four fifths of aquaculture carbon emissions.

The ASC Feed Standard takes the ASC’s approach to responsible aquaculture and extends it to the feed mills that manufacture aquafeed, as well as the suppliers of their ingredients. The ASC Feed Standard is the first standard to take into consideration the impacts created across all key ingredient groups and throughout the ingredient supply chain. This will include all major agriculture crops such as wheat, corn and canola, in addition to soy and palm oil, and marine ingredients.

As a source of protein, aquaculture has one of the lowest carbon footprints, but it is important that the industry monitors and works to reduce its footprint along the entire supply chain. ASC certified feed mills will have to record and report their energy use and greenhouse gas emissions; and work to improve energy efficiency, use of
renewables, and water usage.

The Feed Standard uses an improvement model for marine ingredients which requires feed mills to source from more sustainable fisheries over time. MSC and MarinTrust play a crucial role in this mechanism and form the key stepping stones for improvement. The model offers a unique opportunity for feed mills to work together with their fish meal and fish oil suppliers to meet the increasing requirements over time. Ultimately, the major volume of marine ingredients needs to be derived from MSC fisheries.

For plant-based ingredients, as with marine based, mills will have to record and report all ingredients that make up over 1% of a feed, and will need to take steps to ensure they have been responsibly sourced. Crucially, they will have to assess the risk of a particular ingredient contributing towards deforestation or land conversion, and must commit to transitioning to a supply chain free from these key negative impacts.

As well as environmental sustainability, mills must also ensure they and their suppliers are socially responsible. For instance, independent auditors must verify that mills are not using forced or child labour, pay and treat their staff fairly, and must not discriminate on any grounds. They must also be responsible neighbours, communicating proactively with their local
communities. Certified feed mills are required to conduct Due Diligence on their supply chains to adhere to these principles as well, ensuring an impact in areas where the risk of these issues are more prevalent.

By taking a holistic approach to addressing the environmental and social impacts of feed production, the ASC Feed Standard re-enforces transparency and accountability within feed supply chains.

Alexandra Warrington, Senior Coordinator Feed Standard, Aquaculture Stewardship Council

The Small Pelagics Fishery Improvement Project in Mauritania

Dr Jo Cascoigne.pngThe Small Pelagics FIP (Fishery Improvement Project) in Mauritania was initiated in 2017 by OLVEA Fish Oils and several of their suppliers, but has since then extended to include a wider subset of stakeholders across the entire sector, including Skretting from 2021, in Mauritania and beyond.

Today, the FIP benefits from the support of Mauritanian institutions in the sector of fisheries resources management: MPEM (Ministry of Fisheries and Maritime Economy) and IMROP (Institut Mauritanien de Recherche Océanographique et de Pêches); and also ONISPA based in Europe (Office National d’Inspection Sanitaire des Produits de la Pêche et de l’Aquaculture).

Guidance and coordination are provided by a Steering Committee chaired by the Ministry of Fisheries, while day-to-day management is ensured by ONISPA and IMROP.

The FIP has a detailed and tangible workplan based on the rigorous sustainability standards set by MarinTrust and MSC (Marine Stewardship Council).

A key component of our activities involves improving data collection and sampling from the fishery by providing additional resources and supporting the improvement of equipment and training. This is a crucial basis for improving our understanding of the stock status, a fundamental requirement for sustainable management. We also provide input to government on fisheries management; both for long-term policy and for shorter-term management plans and measures. In 2022, finance permitting, we will take the project further, on ecosystembased management and the protection of endangered species such as marine mammals, which are abundant in Mauritanian waters. We are also undertaking a project to consider the social aspects of the fishery, including conditions on board the vessels and wider issues related to the access to resources and food security.

FisheryProgress evaluates and measures FIP progress to understand the rate of improvement of a fishery. In recognition of its advanced progress and sustainable actions carried out, The Small Pelagics FIP in Mauritania received the “A” grade. Learn more on the FIP website.

Dr Jo Gascoigne, Coordinator of the Morocco and the Mauritania FIP

Fishery Improvement Project to stop practise of overfishing in the North Atlantic

The ‘huge bank of dead fish’ seen off the coast of France in February 2022 created a massive international outcry. But this is small fry compared to the over 1.7 billion blue whiting that are overfished annually, due to Northeast Atlantic fishing nations failing to respect scientific advice for the stock.

When considering overfishing of wild fish, Norway, UK and EU members may not be the first states to spring to mind. But for years these coastal states including Faroe Islands, Greenland, Iceland and Russia have not agreed to a quota sharing agreement that follows scientific advice. This practise has resulted in overfishing and consequently the suspension of the MSC certification of blue whiting.

Despite blue whiting being an important component of salmon feed, Skretting Norway stopped sourcing blue whiting when the MSC certificate was suspended.

Skretting is a founding member of North Atlantic Pelagic Advocacy Group (NAPA) who advocate for long-term, science-based management of fish stocks. In collaboration with MarinTrust, NAPA has established a policy FIP to secure sustainable management for blue whiting. The clock began in October 2021 towards a three-year countdown to certification-ready blue whiting fisheries.

“This is not about improving the fishery levels — this is a policy FIP. So the coastal states must resolve the allocation issues around these stocks. We do not have a position of who gets what, we just want to avoid unsustainable overfishing. The goal must be long-term management”, says Mads Martinsen, Director Product Development and Sustainability, Skretting Norway.

Skretting Norway will continue purchasing blue whiting as long as the FIP is in place rather than walk away, because by maintaining involvement we will drive change. But should progress falter, or the FIP fail, Skretting Norway will continue its stand to not source fishmeal containing uncertified blue whiting.

Norwegian Government sponsors green development of real offshore aquaculture

The Norwegian Government has issued the ‘Green Platform’ program coupled with €100 million funding to accelerate the transition to a green society. In September 2021, €10 million was awarded to a project for offshore salmon production. As part of the project, Skretting Norway will develop a new green floating pellet and health monitoring to increase fish welfare and survival rates.

The project has 18 members from the value chain including salmon producers, suppliers, research institutions and Skretting as the feed producer. The goal is to develop a low-emission value chain for offshore salmon production through innovation within offshore and closed post-smolt systems, biology, fish feed, electrification, digitalisation and logistics.

A key player is SalMar Aker Ocean who already has a semi-offshore production unit in place, Ocean Farm 1. This project will support in the development of their next generation of offshore farms. Grieg Seafood, FishGlobe and Hauge Aqua are key for the development of post-smolt for offshore aquaculture. To combine industrial development with knowledge the project has several R&D partners including the Norwegian Marine Institute of Marine Research (HI), the Norwegian Veterinary Institute, NORCE and several universities.

Skretting plays a vital project role and will lead the work packages on fish welfare and sustainable feed for fish survival and a greener pellet plus increased knowledge on feeding systems for offshore locations. Skretting will also take part in the sub-projects on post-smolt production in closed systems in addition to ocean logistics.

“Offshore aquaculture has the potential to both be a solution for a more sustainable global food production, and to create billion dollar value for Norway. However, there are many challenges to address before we are there. Now the largest investment of all time is being launched to develop many of the solutions, so that we can get closer to realisation”, says Professor Ragnar Tveterås from the University of Stavanger, partnership coordinator.

CarbonBalance shortlisted as finalist of the edie Sustainability Leaders Awards

Feed4FutureS.jpgSkretting Italy’s CarbonBalance® was shortlisted as a finalist in the Product Innovation of the Year category of the prestigious edie Sustainability Leaders Awards 2022. This is a fantastic achievement in a year where edie receive its highest number of entries ever, and an important recognition of the work we’re doing across Nutreco to achieve our purpose of Feeding the Future.

CarbonBalance is following the path of another Skretting product, MicroBalance FLX, the winner of the 2018 edie Sustainable Leaders Award in the Product Innovation category and is a new solution helping fish farmers reduce their operations’ carbon footprint. The programme includes the first ever carbon neutral aquafeed, Feed4Future, along with an entire suite of services designed to enable farmers to produce fish in a fully carbon-neutral way.

Feed4Future’s feed formulation provides optimised nutrition with a carbon footprint at least 5% lower than comparable standard products and can lead to a 30% reduction of the emissions generated by a farmer’s fish throughout the life cycle. Skretting is currently in the beginning stages of introducing CarbonBalance to the market.

“AQUA De Mâ has always been active in promoting a positive image of aquaculture, communicating our efforts to prove the commitment we have for sustainability and environmental care. I therefore welcome CarbonBalance as a correct and forward-looking strategy to tackle the urgent and complex issue of climate change. Skretting is a frontrunner in addressing this issue, with a concrete and immediately available offering such as Feed4Future,” says Roberto Có, Founder and CEO, AQUA De Mâ.

Raw materials in bag


Flexibility in the use of raw materials

Fish and shrimp have specific nutritional requirements, which vary both between species and within a species at different life stages. By understanding these requirements, we can produce flexible aquaculture feeds.

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