Madrid Brief - Summary of IFFO's 2019 Members' Meeting

This year’s IFFO Members’ Meeting was held in Madrid. 163 delegates attended the meeting from 27 countries, the highest number so far.

The presentations are available in the Members area.

The day started with Market Forum I, opened by IFFO’s Director General, Petter Martin Johannessen and the Market Forum Chairman Hans de Wit. The session gave a global overview of the fishmeal and fish oil markets and included country presentations by IFFO members.

More specifically, the day started with two overall presentations: Thomas Mielke, Executive director of OilWorld ISTA GmbH, provided an analysis on oilseeds, oils & fats and oilmeals. Then, Dr Christopher Free, Postdoc at the UCSB Sustainable Fisheries Group, presented the latest findings on the effects of climate change on global fish stocks, and explained how adaptation can mitigate the impacts of future warming, as well as touching on some forage fish recruitment and environment relationship factors in general.

IFFO’s Market Research Director, Dr Enrico Bachis, gave his projections on total marine ingredients supply, highlighting the fact that the 2018 world production of marine ingredients had been the highest since 2011. A year-on-year decrease in the supply of fish meal of around 15%/20% is however expected in 2019. Smaller outputs in Peru and Northern Europe will be the main drives behind such overall reduction as the rest of the world is not expecting major shifts. Fish oil output is also expected to decrease by 15%/20%, although yields in Peru and the USA menhaden fisheries could make a positive difference. In any case the expectation is for a supply above recent years bar 2018. Enrico Bachis’ analysis was finally confirmed in detail by the contributions of delegates coming from Spain, South Africa, Chile, Europe and Peru.

The Technical Session commenced with an overview of current work by Dr Neil Auchterlonie, Technical Director. Neil outlined a whole series of current projects that will inform the evidence-based approach of IFFO as an organisation that engages actively with many policy makers and regulators around the globe. Dr Alejandra Aguilar Solis, Regulatory Research Associate at IFFO, gave a very educational insight on IFFO’s antioxidant project work.  She also gave a feedback on her work with the International Civil Aviation Organisation regarding the regulations of transport of dangerous goods, highlighting that as of 1 January 2021, fishmeal can be shipped as cargo on either a passenger or cargo aircraft as normal dangerous goods without requiring this approval.

One of the invited presenters, Nicola Tallarico, Regional director at Kemin AquaScience (Belgium), gave a presentation on his antioxidant development work, including optimising stabilisation efficiency in fishmeal. A presentation by Hervé Guicherd of ST Equipment and Technology LLC (USA) covered the possible application of protein electrostatic separation, for increasing protein concentration in fishmeal products, as it has been applied to other feed ingredients. He called for volunteers to test this new method by providing feed fishmeal samples and evaluating the potential value creation.

Finally Libby Woodhatch, IFFO RS Executive Chair, rounded off the session giving an update on the governance and work of IFFO RS and highlighting the fact that 54.5% of the world production of fishmeal and fish oil material are now IFFO RS certified.

The Market Forum II started with an update on fish oil trade. Holtermann’s Christian Meinich indicated that prices had been on a steady rise since mid-2018 (production down and consumption up) and highlighted the balanced supply/demand through the first half of 2019.

Continuing on the fish oil side, GOED’s Ellen Schutt gave an Omega-3 market update, highlighting a global growth by 2% in the omega-3 market volume. Looking forward, Schutt noted potential market impacts including the 2018 approval of omega-3 pharmaceuticals in China, the success of Amarin’s Vascepa and 3 studies published in 2018 (VITAL, REDUCE-IT, ASCEND). 

Then Anne-Christine Øen of Salmon Group (Norway) presented her group experience of farming salmon and trout with higher-than-average inclusion rates of fishmeal and fish oil in the feed, respectively at 30% and 15%. She took us through the success story of sustainable farmingstating that feed represents 60 % of the total ecological footprint from salmon and trout farming worldwide. Quoting Salmon Group’s 2018 feasibility study, she noted that « aqua culture depends on healthy waters and that there is a significant social responsibility in managing natural resources, and the industry must consider the inherent obligations ».

Focusing on the all-important market of Peru, MSICeres’ James Frank gave an in-depth overview on the Peru fishmeal trade, while Veramaris’ Ian Carr presented an update on EPA and DHA rich algal oil, explaining Veramaris’ strategy to engage with the whole value chain and stating that European consumers are willing to pay for an increased accessibility to Omega 3 EPA and DHA.

The last presentation of the meeting was given by IFFO’s China Director Maggie Xu, who gave fascinating insights into the China market. Maggie noted that the Marine Ingredients supply had been comfortable in 2018, with variation from Peru in 2019. She also stated that the fishmeal consumption is driven by aquaculture and that there is a high quantity of protein demands by different populations in China.

The next Members’ Meeting will be held in Miami in 2020.