French foie gras producer Maisadour is making a "significant" investment in Aquaponic Management Project Group (AMP), which runs and operates sea trout and salmon farms and whose aquaponic farm ventures are backed by fragrance products company L'Occitane.
AMP founder Pascal Goumain made the news public, citing his new partner's wish to diversify in an effort to avoid the pitfalls of oversupply and other problems such as avian flu that have dogged the sector.
Foie gras producers in France are operating in an increasingly tough market because of the recently introduced EGalim law, which among other things is aimed at tightening up on the abuse of animals with production methods involving the forced feeding of birds having long faced criticism.
They have also been hit by reduced purchases by supermarket chains.
"The sector is in overproduction and stocks are weighing us down," said Maisadour President Michel Prugue.
Maisadour, which already sells smoked Norwegian salmon under its Delpeyrat brand, has the financial firepower of a €1.3 billion ($1.4 billion) a year company.
It says it is making the investment to help AMP move to large-scale operations.
Around €12 million ($13.4 million) is being plowed into the project, which is at the study stage. The site is expected to produce 1,000 metric tons of trout annually.
AMP is also backed by agricultural cooperative Scael, a partner in this latest project and pest control product manufactuter Koppert.
Goumain declined to divulge the size of any of his partners' stakes but told IntraFish: "The information is confidential but they are significant investments."