Cargill to enter into joint venture to increase production capacity in Ecuador’s shrimp feed market
Wayzata, Minnesota and Guayaquil, Ecuador (October 28, 2022) – Cargill, together with its partner Naturisa S.A., have reached an agreement to partner with Skyvest EC Holding S.A. to create a new joint venture that will serve Ecuadorian shrimp farmers’ increasing demand for high-quality shrimp feed.
Cargill first brought its world-class nutrition formulation expertise to Ecuador in 2015 when it partnered with shrimp-farming company Naturisa to build and operate a shrimp-feed manufacturing facility under the name Aquacargill del Ecuador. “Since that time, the Ecuadorian shrimp farming industry has continued to grow, and there is a need to meet the increased demand for high-quality feed,” said Helene Ziv-Douki, president of Cargill’s aqua nutrition business.
Through this new joint venture with Skyvest, Cargill will expand its shrimp-feed production capabilities to own and operate the shrimp-feed production facility currently owned by Skyvest subsidiary Empagran—located in Guayaquil, Ecuador. The feed plant that will be operated by Cargill was built in 2018, has a production capacity of 156,000 metric tons and employs more than 200 people.
“Through this joint venture, Cargill will nearly double its production capacity, and we will improve our capacity to serve our customers and partners. We will invest in this facility and expand our offering of shrimp feeds under the Cargill’s Aquaxcel brand to meet increasing demand for feed among our customers,” said Angel Gomez, managing director of Cargill’s aqua nutrition business in northern Latin America.
“Our joint venture with Cargill has been a big success and a driver of growth for both organizations. We have established an excellent working relationship and we are excited to participate in this expansion to increase our production capacity of high-performance feed that will continue supporting the growth of the Ecuadorian shrimp industry”, said Francisco Sola, Naturisa President.
“We are excited that Cargill will bring its operational expertise and its deep knowledge of global supply chains and risk management to run this facility,” said Victor Ernesto Estrada Santistevan, owner of Skyvest. “The Cargill knowhow will improve feed quality, and their willingness to invest in the plant will bring more high-quality feed to the market,” said Estrada.
The transaction, which is subject to regulatory approvals, is expected to close in the coming months.
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Naturisa has since starting its first shrimp farm in 1980 on a 130-hectare property expanded to reach 7,500+ hectares exclusively producing the shrimp species Penaeus vannamei. In 1991, Naturisa acquired the third largest shrimp exporter in Ecuador "Sociedad Nacional de Galápagos-SONGA", a company that maintains 50% of the total capital. In its integrated growth process, Naturisa has 5 larviculture laboratories and has since 2016 owned 25% of Aquacargill shares. Francisco Solá Medina, the founder and Ricardo Solá Tanca manage Naturisa S.A.
EMPACADORA GRUPO GRANMAR S.A (EMPAGRAN) is a fully integrated Ecuadorian Group dedicated to the entire chain of production of shrimp. The Group`s shrimp operation began in 1975 after pioneering in converting hectares of rice farms in the Taura region to shrimp ponds. Since then, the operation has grown consistently. By 1997, Empagran started operating the complete production chain of shrimp transforming itself in the first company in Ecuador to achieve a fully integrated shrimp operation: hatchery, 2,100 hectares shrimp farms, feed mill and a processing plant. Along with this, since 2014; the Group also manage a 1,100 hectares of shrimp production farm, a hatchery and a packing facility in Cartagena – Colombia. This unmatched vertical integration enables a maximum control of each step in the production process, exceeding the most demanding international quality standers and giving way to top-quality products and maximum levels of added value. For more information, visit empagran.com.