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Tesco wants farmed salmon suppliers to use algae-based feed

The retail giant says it is important to drive change in the feed sector.

UK retail giant Tesco is switching up its standards to encourage the growth of sustainable protein diets, and is calling for the inclusion of alternatives to fish oil in salmon farming.

Tesco wants to reduce the use of wild-caught fish in salmon feed to encourage other industry players to choose omega-3 enriched algal oil over traditional fish oil. The retailer said it will support key salmon suppliers in ramping up the use of omega-3 enriched algal oil.

The new standards will be audited by a third-party certifiers. An official date for the roll out of the standards will be finalized following consultations with suppliers, Tesco told IntraFish.

Dutch algal oil producer Veramaris welcomed Tesco's move. "The Tesco decision will have an impact in the salmon industry supply chains and as a result we are speedily ramping up production to meet demand," a spokesperson with Veramaris told IntraFish.

Tesco is committed to support alternative feed ingredients that take pressure off marine ecosystems providing fish feed.

Tesco said it recognizes the use of fishmeal and fish oil can be managed sustainably, so the aim is not to move away from marine ingredients completely. Tesco cited the use of fishmeal and fish oil from non-salmonid fish trimmings, which would have otherwise been wasted, as one example of sustainable use of marine resources to make feed.

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Tesco is working toward an ambitious target of a Forage Fish Dependency Ratio for oil (FFDR) of less than 1.75 by the coming year. The retailer will review results over time to get to a fish-in-fish-out ratio of less than one.

The plan is to work closely with the supply base and other industry stakeholders, including the World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF) and feed ingredient producers.

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