As companies pull back due to coronavirus, natural gas-based alternative feed producer Calysta is moving full-steam ahead.

It recently hired a new chief technology officer to head up its product development and technology across Asia, the United States and Europe. The newly appointed CTO will lead innovation activities for Calysta's joint venture with Adisseo in China.

In June, Calysta announced it would build its first commercial-scale facility in Chongqing’s Changshou district in China through its joint-venture with Chinese feed additives giant Blue Star Adisseo.

Calysta's president and CEO Alan Shaw was one of the feed executives IntraFish recently reached out to for his take on feed alternatives and how the explosive growth in interest in driving them forward will shape the aquaculture sector.

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How much growth in the alternative feed ingredients market should we expect over the next decade? Why?

By 2030, alternative feed ingredients should easily be 10-20 times the volumes they are today. Alternatives are starting from a very small base, so we expect very high growth rates in the first half of the decade - 100% per year or greater.

What are the biggest barriers to growth in the use of alternative feed ingredients in aquaculture production?

There are several. Capital is a major one. Most alternatives are more capital intensive than traditional ingredients, and these upfront costs are significant whether you are producing single-cell products or insects. The fragmented nature of the aquaculture industry can also make market adoption difficult.

Will alternative feed ingredients ever fully replace fishmeal and fish oil from wild fish? Why?

No. Sustainably sourced marine ingredients will always be a part of the feed mix, especially given omega-3 requirements of many fish species. We do expect the proportion of marine ingredients from trimmings and byproducts to continue to grow.

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