Feed giant Cargill said its land-based salmon feed, developed in conjunction with Salmon Evolution, achieved strong results with the first production.

The feed was deployed at Salmon Evolution's Indre Haroy production site in Norway where water is partially reused.

Salmon Evolution harvested 30,000 salmon on Nov. 7 and plans to harvest the remaining 70,000 fish from the first batch during the fourth quarter.

Cargill, which acquired a roughly 2 percent stake in Salmon Evolution last year, worked closely with Salmon Evolution from the outset, monitoring progress along the way, it said.

“Most exciting for us has been how well the feed has performed and how well our feed design model would predict the production process,” Sigurd Tonheim, strategic marketing and technology lead at Cargill’s Aqua Nutrition North Sea business, said.

Producing land-based feed provides a different set of challenges for feed companies, Tondheim said.

"It must have a very precise sinking speed, very little dust and no oil leakage - all to provide good water quality which in turn creates a good growth environment for the salmon," Tonheim said.

Fish from Salmon Evolution's first harvest were sold to a selected group of customers in Norway and elsewhere, providing them with the opportunity to test the product and verify the quality ahead of the company's planned ramp-up in harvest volumes over the coming quarters.

Salmon Evolution announced the successful completion of its third smolt release in late October.

In addition to Cargill, Salmon Evolution counts Korean giant Dongwon, parent of among other groups canned tuna group Starkist, among its backers.

In early 2021, Salmon Evolution signed a joint venture agreement with Dongwon Industries for the establishment of a 20,000-metric-ton salmon farm in South Korea.

Dongwon will hold a controlling 51 percent stake in the company, named K Smart Farming, with the cost for phase one of the project, which will produce 10,000 metric tons of Atlantic salmon, estimated at NOK 1.6 billion (€154 million/$187 million).