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November 14, 2013

Ecuador

OMARSA

 

Family-owned shrimp farming company OMARSA has grown significantly in the last five years and relatively steadily for the last ten years.

 

In terms of production, 2012 was a big growth year for OMARSA, and in 2013, the company is on track to grow at about the same rate, said Francisco Vanoni, sales executive and grandson of the company’s founder.

 

Figures for June 2013 placed OMARSA as Ecuador’s third largest shrimp exporter after Promarisco and Expalsa, when it exporting 4.24 million pounds of shrimp, worth $15.25 million.  That was up from 4.03 million pounds worth $12.53 million in June 2013.

 

Vanoni said production in 2013 “couldn’t have been better”, estimating it had risen by about 15% compared to last year.

 

Due to limitations in space for shrimp farming in Ecuador, the company estimates there is not much more land available for shrimp farming.  On land it already owns, OMARSA could expand by about 10 to 15%.

 

OMARSA’s status as a major supplier with multiple organic certifications is a point of pride for the company, particularly since organic shrimp have been very profitable.  The company typically manages to pass all of the costs of meeting its organic certification requirements onto the consumer, Vanoni said.  There is hot demand for organic products in European countries like Germany, the United Kingdom and Switzerland.

 

Since 2007, when it first went organic, OMARSA has racked up three organic certifications—Naturland, Euroleaf and Agriculture Biologic.  It costs more to grow organic shrimp.  For instance, densities must be below 16 shrimp per square meter, which means less product in the water and less to sell.  Growth rates are also hindered, as the company is required to use only 30% protein in its feed.  That is less than the industry average of about 35%, according to Sandro Coglitore, the general manager of OMARSA.  Also, OMARSA is not able to use products that violate organic standards, and some of those products are known to encourage desirable aquatic plants or enhance the immunity of the shrimp.

 

Other restrictions appear to be helping the company.  “Today, without using antibiotics, we are much better off than when we used them 10 years ago,” Vanoni said.

 

The market for organic shrimp in the United States is almost non-existent because the USA Department of Agriculture has not set organic standards for aquaculture products.  In fact, in California, the use of the word “organic” is not allowed for farmed shrimp.

 

Information: Sandro Coglitore and Francisco Vanoni, OMARSA, S.A., Lotización Industrial Al Rio Solar 3, Guayas - Durán, Ecuador (phone +593-4-255-0220, fax +593-4-255-0169, email sales@omarsa.com.ec, webpage http://www.omarsa.com.ec/index.php/es/).

 http://www.omarsa.com.ec/index.php/es/).

 

Source: Undercurrent News.  Editor, Tom Seaman (undercurrent@undercurrentnews.com). OMARSA Production Expansion Coincides with Huge Market Opportunities.  Jeanine Stewart (jeanine.stewart@undercurrentnews.com).  October 29, 2013.

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