Cargill and its EWOS brand marked a significant milestone in addressing fish health and disease prevention through the inauguration of one of the world's largest and most significant research centers of its kind.
Located in the Pacific coastal town of Colaco, Chile, the Cargill Innovation Center is geared specifically toward improving the health and well-being of salmon. The $10.5 million innovation center will serve as a research hub of internationally renowned experts from EWOS and Cargill who will focus on developing functional fish diets and studying diseases that affect farmed salmon in Chile and other countries focused on aquaculture.
Through the Cargill investment and the support of Corfo, a Chile-based developmental agency, the innovation center will have more than 30 scientists and aquaculture experts. As part of their research, they will create tools and additional controls to fight the two major health challenges in the salmon industry.
The first one is salmon rickettsial syndrome, caused by a bacterium responsible for 79% of the mortality of salmon and the main reason for antibiotic use in Chile. The second one is caligidosis, which is caused by caligus, or "sea lice," a parasite that attaches to the skin of salmon and affects its health. These diseases have contributed to significant fish industry losses.
With this investment, the Cargill Innovation Center in Chile will be able to conduct four or five times more studies than before, increasing the global capacity for fish health research by 30%.
"Having our own fish health center will accelerate our product development programs, allowing us to quickly develop new customer solutions," Einar Wathne, president of Cargill Aqua Nutrition, said. "We will be able to dig much deeper into the primary diseases and combat the risks they create for salmon producers and also apply our learning across multiple species of fish."
"Proper fish nutrition is an excellent tool to help control disease," said Simon Wadsworth, global fish health manager for Cargill Aqua Nutrition. "A fish consumes some 30,000 pellets in its lifetime, and that means there are the same number of opportunities to manage the specimens — with no manipulation — to help the sustainability of the industry."
Cargill's animal nutrition business has more than 20,000 employees at more than 275 facilities in 40 countries. Fueled by innovation and research, it offers a range of products and services to feed manufacturers, animal producers and feed retailers around the world, including compound feed, premixes, feed additives, supply chain and risk management solutions, software tools and animal nutrition expertise.
Cargill acquired EWOS in 2015 and integrated the company into Cargill Animal Nutrition as a business called Cargill Aqua Nutrition representing the EWOS brand. The innovation center in Chile is one of three of Cargill's aqua innovation centers.
With more than than 150 years of experience, Cargill provides nutrition, agriculture, financial and industrial products and services globally and promotes the application of new knowledge in partnership with farmers, customers, governments and communities. In total, it has 150,000 employees in 70 different countries who are committed to feeding the world in a responsible way, reducing the environmental impact and improving the communities in which they live and work.