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September 24, 2016
Texas and Minnesota
Two Companies Place Big Bets on USA Shrimp Farming
On September 19, 2016, NaturalShrimp, Inc., which claims its farm in LaCoste, Texas, is the nation’s first successful inland marine shrimp farm, announced that it is planning to expand its indoor shrimp-growing operations across the United States.
Earlier in September, NaturalShrimp signed a letter of commitment with Trane, Inc., a division of North Carolina-based Ingersoll Rand, to design and duplicate NaturalShrimp’s shrimp farming system for use at multiple locations in the United States. Trane is a manufacturer of heating, ventilating and air conditioning systems and also markets building management systems and controls. Ingersoll Rand is a global business whose stock trades on the New York Stock Exchange. With annual sales of $13 billion, it works to enhance the quality and comfort of air in homes and buildings and to protect food and perishables during transport.
Gerald Easterling, president of NaturalShrimp, said the new deal would “allow us to leapfrog from being a single-location producer to being a major supplier of shrimp and, potentially, other aquatic species. The oceans of the world are overfished and abused. Our technology...will produce healthful, tasty and plentiful shrimp and other aquatic species for people around the world, with no ecological stress.”
Bill Williams, NaturalShrimp’s CEO, said the agreement with Trane/Ingersoll Rand came after a 15-year research and development phase and after it became a publicly traded company that “had finally cracked the code on how to do...[shrimp farming].”
While Williams declined to detail NaturalShrimp’s technology, he said it imported Red Sea salt and used a “nutritious formula” that included grain as well as squid mantle to grow Pacific white shrimp (Penaeus vannamei).
Corporate regulatory filings show NaturalShrimp has been operating in the red, with a net loss of $270,445 for the three months ending on June 30, 2016. In January 2015, NaturalShrimp entered into an agreement with Nevada-based Multiplayer Online Dragon, Inc., to raise capital by taking the company public.
Williams said NaturalShrimp is already selling shrimp to high-end restaurant chains and has ample market demand to justify expanding operations, both within its current 37-acre campus in LaCoste and elsewhere. “All we have to do is rent large warehouse space and we can move our system right into it,” he said. “They want us to come to New York; Nevada wants us to come to the Las Vegas area. It works. We’ve made it work and it’s going to change the nature of the seafood business.”
Information: Gerald Easterling and Bill Williams, NaturalShrimp, Inc., P.O. Box 760669, San Antonio, Texas 78245-0669, USA (phone 1-888-791-9474, email email@example.com, webpage http://naturalshrimp.com).
trū® Shrimp Systems
trū Shrimp Systems, a division of Minnesota-based Ralco Nutrition, which has been in the livestock feed business for more than 40 years, plans to expand its pilot Pacific white shrimp (P. vannamei) operation. Michael Ziebell, general manager of Ralco’s seafood production division, said trū Shrimp hopes to begin construction the company’s first commercial-sized shrimp production facility in the spring of 2017. It will be a massive, $54-million, nine-acre building roughly twice the size of a Walmart supercenter, filled with raceways stacked six high!
Ralco, a third-generation, family-owned, multinational company with distribution in more than 20 countries, is a leading global supplier of livestock nutrition, animal health products and crop enhancement technologies that support large segments of the livestock, poultry, aquaculture and crop production industries.
Ziebell said, “We’re not here to build what the world calls a shrimp farm; we’re here to build an industry here in the Upper Midwest.”
Ralco believes it can beat foreign competitors on quality. Its shrimp will be antibiotic free, something the company thinks will attract consumer interest in an era when sustainability is an important value. Company officials also believe their product will benefit from the local foods movement and the backlash over the slavery scandal in Thailand’s shrimp industry.
Ralco also believes it can beat foreign competition with more harvests per year. Foreign pond-raised shrimp farms typically harvest twice a year, but Ralco can double that, said Ziebell.
David Veal, head of the American Shrimp Processors Association, said he has no doubt that the Minnesota company can successfully grow millions of shrimp. Selling them at a profit, however, will be a challenge. These are multi-million dollar investments...“operating on a very few percent margin of profit,” said Veal.
trū Shrimp Systems also announced that it has chosen Blue Tiger Shrimp Aquaculture as an international business development partner. Blue Tiger Shrimp Aquaculture has offices in Florida and Germany and is focused on building trū Shrimp Systems farms in Australia, the Republic of Cameroon, Germany, Morocco, Oman, Romania, United Arab Emirates (UAE) and China. Advanced construction commitments have already been made in the Republic of Cameroon and UAE.
“This is the next step to bring our shrimp technology to the world,” said trū Shrimp Systems General Manager Michael Ziebell. “Blue Tiger Shrimp Aquaculture will seek out partners that want to build...trū Shrimp Systems.... The technology we licensed from The Texas A&M University System has been validated and with additional patent work, revolutionary processes and procedures trū Shrimp has fundamentally moved the basic foundation of...[its] technology forward beyond what anyone thought possible. We have exceeded expected growth rates, survivability and production output. No one has moved shrimp production this far forward, and the team at Blue Tiger Shrimp Aquaculture will bring the technology to large segments of the international marketplace.”
In December 2014 and in April 2015, the Texas A&M University System licensed its patent for stacked raceway shrimp production for the United States and selected countries to the trū Shrimp Systems Division of Ralco. The research team at the trū Shrimp Pilot Production and Innovation Center have developed two systems that provide proof of concept by scaling up the Texas A&M technology by over 1,100%. They provided the science-backed technology that Blue Tiger Shrimp Aquaculture will take to the international market.
“trū® Shrimp Systems is the answer to our prayers,” said Blue Tiger Shrimp Aquaculture CEO Rudy Ahrens. “We have been working in shrimp aquaculture for many years and have explored other shrimp technologies, consultants and engineering; however, we have never seen the groundbreaking technology and processes that trū Shrimp provides. The safe, natural shrimp production that they have proven at the Pilot Production and Innovation Center is worthy of our efforts. trū Shrimp Systems production technology combined with Ralco’s nutrition technology is the perfect marriage and offers a complete package for international investors.”
While Blue Tiger Shrimp Aquaculture is seeking out partners to build farms internationally, trū® Shrimp Systems is focused on USA partnerships.
“Blue Tiger Shrimp Aquaculture extends our reach across the world and provides us with the ability to focus on domestic and international markets simultaneously. We look forward to a long and prosperous relationship with Blue Tiger Shrimp Aquaculture,” Ziebell said.
Sources: 1. San Antonio Express News. LaCoste-Based NaturalShrimp Expands Indoor Shrimp Growing Operations Across the U.S. Lynn Brezosky (email firstname.lastname@example.org). September 19, 2016. 2. NaturalShrimp’s Webpage on September 23, 2016. 3. MPR News. Agribusiness Hopes Shrimp Is Minnesota’s Newest Crop. Mark Steil (email email@example.com). September 20, 2016. 4. Ralco Nutrition’s Webpage on September 23, 2016.
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