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Feed company rebrands as it moves into manufacturing

Company is on the cusp of launching a new product specifically for cleaner fish in sea cages.

Feed supplier Pacific Trading Aquaculture is looking to rebrand as PT Aqua in a bid to “simplify the name and strengthen to brand,” Ian Sutton, director of the company, told IntraFish.

The move will primarily involve a logo redesign across all of the company’s printed and media format products -- labels, brochures etc. -- and on its website and emails.

“Pacific Trading Aquaculture is a bit of a mouthful really, so we are looking at changing the name to PT Aqua,” said Sutton. “We feel PT Aqua is a stronger brand, a stronger name for us.

"We are no longer just traders, we are manufacturing now and continuing to grow our reputation for quality and service," he said.

The wholly-owned Irish company -- which predominantly supplies bespoke high quality starter feeds from Japan and elsewhere -- also now manufacturers its own products in Europe through a license agreement with Coppens.

Six months ago the company launched its own lumpfish starter feed for the cleaner fish market in Norway, called Atlantic Gold, and now it has one coming out for the sea cage diet as well – Atlantic Gold Sea.

The company’s main markets are the European Union (EU) and Norway, but also in Turkey, and the Middle East in Abu Dhabi and Dubai.

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In relation to the cleanerfish sector, “we’ve been in it since the beginning," said Suttton. "We are firmly focusing on bespoke high quality species-specific diets coupled with fast delivery response times and technical back-up from our hub in Oslo."

PT Aqua’s core products are larval diets and chlorella -- a DHA/EPA enriched liquid algae for rotifer production -- that would account for about 20 percent of business, particularly in the Mediterranean.

“We are very active in the bass and bream sector, supplying chlorella algae to all of the major producers in the Med, who consider our Japanese Chlorella product a "cornerstone of reliable rotifer production."

In Norway the company has a warehouse hub in Oslo from where it sells a lot feed into the cleaner fish market to producers of wrasse and lumpfish.

“We were supplying a Japanese feed the past six to seven years called Otohime, but this has proved a little bit expensive for lumpfish in particular, so we researched and developed a new specific formula which Coppens is manufacturing under license to us with the brand name Atlantic Gold, which we supply at market competitive pricing," said Sutton.

The company holds stock in Oslo from where it can supply all Norwegian customers within five days and in the United Kingdom, and Faroe Islands within 10 days.

"This feed was developed with lumpfish health and wellbeing at the forefront of our work and we listened to customer feedback and concerns from all producers when developing the formulation."

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This product is for the hatchery stage, and for when the cleaner fish are transferred to the sea cages PT Aqua is bringing in a new feed called Atlantic Gold Sea.

"This will be out in the market in the next couple of weeks to meet the needs of sea cage operators demanding feeds which can accurately meet the nutritional needs of working lump-fish at sea," said Sutton.

The cleaner fish market is very important for PT Aqua which is growing very fast and could be approaching peak production soon.

“Only so many salmon will be produced, and only so many cleaner fish required by the market,” said Sutton.

Nevertheless the company has been successful in gaining more market penetration year on year and becoming well-known and respected, especially in Norway.

“The cleaner fish market will expand in the UK and in Iceland and places like that, and then we are also looking at launching a new feed down in the Mediterranean in time," Sutton said.

“We aren’t trying to emulate the bigger feed players in the market, instead we focus our efforts on producing high quality and high health feeds with fast and flexible turnaround service.”

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