HKScan and Scandinavian Aquasystems AB have signed a cooperation agreement for the sale of fish products under the Gårdsfisk brand and the production of meal components made from fish in Sweden. At the same time, HKScan will become a minority shareholder in the company with a stake of slightly more than 10%.
Gårdsfisk specializes in fish farming on Swedish farms based on a recirculating water system. For this purpose, the company has created its own environmentally friendly farming concept. Through this cooperation, HKScan’s product portfolio will extend to include fish products.
"Consumers want increasingly varied food. The journey of transformation that HKScan has begun, as illustrated by its collaboration with Gårdsfisk, is certainly historic for HKScan as a well-known meat company, but it feels natural as consumer habits change. The future HKScan will be a versatile food company, offering its customers and consumers high-quality meat, fish and plant-based products," said Lars Appelqvist, HKScan's EVP Sweden.
The sale of fish products sold under the Gårdsfisk brand will be transferred to HKScan's Swedish organization at the beginning of 2022. In addition, the product portfolio will be extended to include meal components made from Gårdsfisk's raw materials.
CEO Tero Hemmilä commented: “Gårdsfisk is an example of HKScan’s partnership strategy in Sweden. Our strategic goal is to expand through partnerships into new food businesses and raw material bases. We provide a strong commercial platform for developing and forward-looking companies, whose products and raw materials will become part of our food portfolio through the partnership. Partnerships also enable the scaling up of commercially attractive products and concepts.”
Under the Gårdsfisk brand, fish is produced responsibly and in close cooperation with Swedish farms. The fish are farmed in tanks using an environmentally friendly farming method RAS. The nutrients produced in the fish farming are used as fertilizers on the farms. Gårdsfisk was awarded the Årets Klimatbonde title in Sweden last year and it also received Svenskt Sigill climate certification.
Locally produced fish is an interesting new opportunity for farms to renew their operations, as fish consumption as a source of protein is on the rise. Scandinavian Aquasystems aims to expand fish farming on new farms in the coming years; new investments are already underway. HKScan’s own network of contract farmers in Sweden provides a good basis for the scaling up of the concept.