Madagascar

OSO’s Organic Shrimp

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July 30, 2013

Madagascar

OSO’s Organic Shrimp

 

Madagascan shrimp producer OSO, a subsidiary France’s leading seafood distributor R&O Seafood Gastronomy, is looking to ramp up its annual organic production by 37.5 percent to 2,200 metric tons by 2015/2016, from 1,600 metric tons today.

 

Mathias Ismail, the head of R&O Seafood Gastronomy, said, “We expect demand to rise once the economic crisis in Europe wears off.  We have to be ready.”  R&O grosses about $400 million a year and supplies about 40,000 metric tons of seafood to the European retail and foodservice sector.

 

It is seeing stable to growing demand for its head-on, jumbo, organic shrimp in its main markets: United Kingdom (where retailer Marks & Spencer is its biggest client), Switzerland, France, Luxembourg, the Netherlands and Germany.  About five percent of its total product volume is organic, but sales of organic shrimp are growing at about 20 percent a year.

 

Ismail said OSO hasn’t seen any alteration or impact from the early mortality syndrome (EMS) outbreak in the Far East.

 

OSO’s positions itself as a premium shrimp supplier.  This is reflected in the company’s wholesale prices for 30 to 40 count shrimp, which it sells for $23.40 a kilo, while 20 to 30 count “jumbo” shrimp sell for $30.00 a kilo.  The retail price for those sizes is $45.60 and $97.70 a kilo, respectively.  Consumers buy OSO shrimp for the brand and the organic label.

 

“We are fully booked with orders to the first quarter of 2014,” Ismail said, adding the economic crisis hasn’t resulted in a downward trend for the company.  He believes, while overall consumer spending has gone down, food is one of the few exceptions, especially premium foods.

 

When the European crisis is over “in two or three years”, demand will explode, hence the expansion of the farm in Madagascar, said Ismail.  In 2016, the company plans to undertake yet another increase in production.

 

OSO is the first company to received official organic certification under France’s AB national Agriculture Biologique standards.  Its hatchery has the capacity to produce 120 million postlarvae a year and the farm has 425 ten-hectare ponds.  Its processing plant can handle 15 metric tons of shrimp a day.

 

Information: OSO, Groupe Socota, 12 Quai du Seujet, Geneva CH 1201, Switzerland (phone +41-22-716-22-44, email oso@oso.mc, webpage http://www.madagascar-gambas.com).

 

Information: R&O Seafood Gastronomy, 01 Avenue des Savoies, Paris International Food Market of Rungis, F-94150, Rungis, France (phone  +33-1-451-27171, fax: +33-1-451-27005, email contact@rno.fr, webpage http://www.groupesocota.com).

 

Sources: 1. Boletín CNA (Ecuador’s Cámara Nacional de Acuacultura).  Editor, Jorge Tejada (jtejada@cna-ecuador.com).  OSO Boosts Organic Shrimp Production.  July 17, 2013.  2. OSO’s Website.  Site Visit on July 30, 2013.

 

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