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Cooke harvests first organic salmon in Chile

InvestChile - May,13,2024

The implementation of this groundbreaking project will initially account for 25% of the total production of Cooke Chile, a Canadian-owned company.


Concluding a nearly four-year process, Cooke Chile, a Canadian-owned company, announced the harvest of the country's first certified organic salmon farming center.

This achievement marks a milestone in the company's history and the national salmon farming industry as a whole, highlighted by the national media outlet Aqua.

To accomplish this challenge, Cooke made a significant financial and human resource investment in the Cupquelan fjord, located in the Aysén region in the far south of the country, aiming to create increasingly sustainable and environmentally friendly production processes.

To achieve European certification of the product, it was necessary to demonstrate compliance with the highest standards in organic salmon production.

«The harvest of Chile's first certified organic salmon farming center, in accordance with the European Union's (EU) ecological standards, is the result of extensive multidisciplinary work that involved significant changes to the salmon value chain,» explained Cooke Chile's General Manager, Andrés Parodi.

«This unprecedented management in the country aims to deliver sustainable, high-quality seafood products that help improve the reputation of Chilean salmon while caring for the environment,» he added.

This innovation in aquaculture production, which will initially account for 25% of Cooke's total production, not only represents a new standard in salmon production in Chile but also symbolizes the country's entry into the international organic salmon market, considered by many as a key part of the future food solution.

«Given the European certification, the main market that opens up is the European Union. Within it, the primary countries in terms of demand for organic products are France and Germany,» Parodi added.

Innovative Production System

Organic salmon cannot be produced in spaces previously used for traditional farming but must be cultivated in centers that have been specially conditioned and certified.

Therefore, before starting production, the company had to empty, clean, and thoroughly sanitize its facilities.

The fish farms had to undergo a six-month sanitization and production rest period, while the open-sea structures had to do so for a three-month period.

The feed for the fish was not available in Chile according to organic standards. For this reason, the company had to import the total required tons of certified feed from Scotland to carry out organic production.

The cultivation process was also conducted under stringent standards, primarily related to maintaining salmon at low densities, minimizing stress levels, ensuring a high level of animal welfare, and using cutting-edge technology and infrastructure.

Additionally, Cooke Chile's multidisciplinary teams had to acquire new knowledge necessary to optimally implement the organic standard through a training process that included 460 hours of work.

«This milestone was achieved thanks to the collective effort of the entire Cooke Chile team who were directly or indirectly involved in this project, as well as the support of our suppliers in Chile and abroad,» Parodi concluded.

The food industry is positioned as the second most important economic sector in the country, representing 18% of the national GDP. Currently, Chile aims for a healthy food industry.

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Topics: Food Industry- Salmon- Canadian investment



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