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January 17, 2016

India

Devi Seafoods Preparing to Open Shrimp Feed Mill

 

According to managing director Potru Brahmanandam, Devi Seafoods, one of the largest shrimp processors and exporters in India, plans to open a 50,000-metric-ton-a-year shrimp feed mill in Visakhapatnam, Andhra Pradesh, in March 2016.  Devi supplies a major share of its frozen shrimp production to the USA foodservice industry, marketed by its subsidiary Devi Seafoods Inc., in Texas.

 

 “This is an era of elevated consumer awareness.  When they buy food they look beyond, to see the products have come from a source which is environmentally sustainable and are produced in socially acceptable conditions, in a facility following good manufacturing processes.”

 

“Various third party certification agencies have evolved which prescribe and ensure compliance to certain standards in producing the food from farm to fork.   BAP [Best Aquaculture Practices] by Global Aquaculture Alliance (GAA) is the most renowned standard in the seafood industry.  ...At this point, everyone [buyers] expects you to have [BAP] four-star certification,” said Brahmanandam.  “We are already using certified feed, but we wanted our own.”

 

Currently the Indian feed market is dominated by Charoen Pokphand Foods and Thai Union Group’s joint venture with Avanti Feeds.  Avanti has BAP certification for its feed, allowing packers that own or source from BAP-certified farms to get four-star BAP certification.

 

Devi hopes that with its own feed plant it can encourage more of its supplier farmers to go for BAP certification, which would increase the quality and safety of their shrimp.

 

The 50,000-metric-ton feed mill will allow Devi full control over the feed that goes to its farms—of which there are only a limited number of now—and those farms it works closely with.  Brahmanandam said, “We follow their management closely.  With our own mill we’ll be able to put feed that we know is free from antibiotic traces into the farms; we plan to start off just selling to the farms we work with and from there we’ll expand sales.”

 

“We don’t plan to market it in the same way other feed firms have done, but just to control feed through our own chain first.  This is a facility to support our loyal supplier farms with quality feed input.”

 

As well as close control over exactly what goes into its shrimp feed, the other obvious benefit for Devi is lower feed costs for its shrimp farms and its customers' shrimp farms.  Feed is the largest cost in the production of shrimp; more than 60%, said Brahmanandam.  “This should go a long way to helping our suppliers be commercially successful.”  By producing its own feed, Devi will save a lot of money, compared to importing or buying from the established firms.  In addition, competition from a number of new feed mills in India is likely to bring feed prices down throughout India.

 

“With our own shrimp feed plant coming into operation, we’ll have an increased opportunity to motivate more of our supplier farmers to go for BAP certification of their respective shrimp farms, thereby gaining much control over the quality and safety of the raw shrimp to be used in our processing”, said Brahmanandam.

 

According to its website, Devi is one of the leading exporters of Indian shrimp.  It has two state-of-the-art shrimp processing plants in Andhra Pradesh, which together process around 11,000 metric tons of finished frozen shrimp in ready-to-cook and ready-to-eat forms a year.

 

The firm was the first to begin value-added sales to the USA, in the form of individually quick frozen (IQF) shrimp for Darden and Red Lobster, he said.  It also sells to Sysco.

 

Information: Potru Brahmanandam, Devi Seafoods, Inc., 14800 St. Mary’s Lane, Suite 205, Houston, Texas 77079, USA (phone 1-732-324-7770, webpage http://www.deviseafoods.co.in/devi-sea-foods).

 

Source:Undercurrent News [eight free news reads every month].  Editor, Tom Seaman (undercurrent@undercurrentnews.com).  US-Focused Devi Seafoods Preparing to Open Shrimp Feed Mill.  Neil Ramsden (neil.ramsden@undercurrentnews.com).  January 15, 2016.

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