Neovia has acquired Ecuadorian Balnova, a food manufacturer for the shrimp market. With this acquisition, Neovia consolidates its strong international expertise in aquaculture and its location in the fourth-largest shrimp-producing market in the world. Last year, Neovia bought Epicore, the American manufacturer of larval feed and probiotics, which also has a large branch in Ecuador.

This transaction is part of the Nueva Pescanova group’s plan to divest non-strategic assets until 2020. Its objective is to maximize the profit of the group’s vertical integration: to increase the occupancy rate of its factories by optimizing the planning of its raw material supply.

Founded in 1991, Balnova (Nueva Pescanova Group) is a specialist in pressed and extruded feed for shrimp. With 40,000 tons of production per year, its plant is located in Guayaquil, the largest port in Latin American west coast. With more than 30 years of expertise and 100 employees, Balnova is one of the leading players in the Ecuadorian market. The company has two recognized ranges of products with high nutritional value, one around dietary solutions for shrimp and the other, plant-based fertilizers to feed the microorganisms in the water.

Ecuador, the leading producer of shrimp feed in Latin America

With a population of 16.5 million, Ecuador is the eighth most populous Latin American countries. Between 2004 and 2014, the Ecuadorian economy stabilized and experienced a remarkable annual growth of 4.5 percent. In 2016, shrimp accounted for 20 percent of the country’s exports. Ecuador is the first market shrimp feed producer in Latin America and the fourth globally. Extensive shrimp farming began in the country in 1969 and then turned to a semi-intensive system in the early 1980s. Thanks to natural conditions favorable to livestock and a stable climate all year long, the country devotes more than 216,000 hectares to aquaculture, 95 percent of which is dedicated to shrimps.

A holistic approach to aquaculture

In aquaculture, the interaction between the animal and its environment is fundamental and permanent. For this reason, Neovia has defined a holistic approach that goes from the feed to the piloting of the breeding ponds (quality, management of the water circuit) in order to ensure a quality production profitable and respectful of the environment. With this in mind, Neovia recently acquired Acui-T, a French specialist in the treatment of aquaculture pond water. Thanks to the synergies between Epicore, Balnova and Acui-T, Neovia responds to the challenges of aquaculture quality and the sustainable growth of breeding ponds on a global scale.

Hector Marriot, CEO of Balnova, said: “We are delighted to share our know-how with a large international group like Neovia. The collaboration between our R&D teams will allow us to intensify research and develop new innovative products. This opens up great opportunities for teams and to develop new innovative solutions for Ecuadorian farmers.”

Eric de Seguins Pazzis, marketing and business development director at Neovia, said: “True to its resilient strategy, Neovia is balancing its businesses and has made aquaculture one of its seven full-fledged activities since 2016. Neovia wishes to develop and strengthen its range of aquaculture products and solutions in a rapidly growing sector worldwide. We are delighted to welcome Balnova and to be able to count on the know-how of the teams in the Ecuadorian market to reinforce future innovations. Ecuador will be a key country for Neovia, where we intend to strengthen exports, especially to Peru.”