Raisioaqua, a forerunner in responsibility
The Raisioaqua Division includes the fish feed business. Raisioaqua is the only Finnish fish feed manufacturer. The key markets are Finland and Northwest Russia.
Main events in 2018
- The raw material supplier’s product did not meet the contract terms as its GMO levels were too high. This resulted in the Russian authority’s import ban from 4 August to 6 December 2018.
- The impacts of the GMO case were minimal and the most important fish farming customers continue with Raisioaqua.
- Availability and recognition of the responsibly farmed Benella fish improved.
The fish feed season had a good start in the spring, and feed exports were up on in the comparison period. The analysis conducted by the Russian border authorities showed genetically modified soybean in some of the fish feeds made and delivered by Raisioaqua between 11 June and 10 July 2018. This is against Raisio’s policy. Genetically modified material was found in concentrations that exceeded the labelling limit established in the EU labelling legislation and the limit established in the Russian legislation. This concerned only a part of the transports while most of them were in order. The Russian authorities announced to close the border on 4 August 2018.
The Russian authorities announced the end of the import ban on fish feeds and the opening of the border on 6 December 2018. The Russian border was closed four months. During the import ban, Raisioaqua could not deliver fish feeds to its Russian customers. When the import ban was lifted, the 2018 fish farming season had already ended.
Raw material supplier’s defective product resulted in the closing of the Russian border
The soy product Raisioaqua uses in its fish feeds was supplied by a Finnish supplier whose product was against the contract and Raisio’s gmo policy. Raisio continues to negotiate with the supplier on the damage compensation.
Immediately after the border was reopened, Raisioaqua continued to finalise the delivery agreements for the 2019 season with its customers. The impacts of the GMO case were minimal and the most important farming customers continue with Raisioaqua.
The exceptionally long heat period in the summer 2018 significantly weakened the fish growth conditions in Finland and neighbouring regions, as the water temperature was so high that the fish stopped eating. Warm water also caused fish deaths, particularly in the fish farms of the interior regions of Finland. In the autumn, conditions for fish growth were good and the growth season was longer than usually.
Due to the exceptional hot summer, the total fish production decreased by some 10-15 per cent. Raisioaqua delivered its Finnish customers nearly as much fish feed as in the comparison year and this way the Division strengthened its market position.
Contract producers for the responsibly farmed Benella fish have changed their production cycle so that particularly rainbow trout is available throughout the year. In 2018, Raisioaqua made a wholesale agreement with, for example, Hätälä Oy; this also expanded the availability of the Benella fish.
In Finland, Kesko further intensified its Benella cooperation with Raisioaqua. The store coverage, visibility and brand awareness of the Benella fish, part of Pirkka Premium Line, significantly increased in a year. National and local Pirkka Premium Benella campaigns were conducted in the stores and media.
Improved awareness and availability for Benella fish
Some contract restaurants took Benella into their selections in Finland and Sweden. For example, already some 60 restaurants in Stockholm use Benella as raw material. The Swedish retail chains are also showing interest in Benella, and our work to open retail sales continues.
Benella's website in Finnish and in Swedish: www.benella.fi
Added value for customers with Growth Radar
Raisioaqua focuses on products and services that ensure the fish welfare and production efficiency while promoting responsible fish farming. Raisioaqua also continues to use and survey new and responsible raw materials for fish feeds.
Growth Radar for easier fish farming
Raisioaqua continued its strong investment in the further development of digital Growth Radar (Kasvuluotain) application. The application uses Raisioaqua’s strong feeding expertise and produces added value for fish farmers by analysing their data. Growth Radar enables the optimisation of fish feeding and minimises the entry of nutrients into waterways as the application makes fish growth monitoring and feed dosing easier. Growth Radar is already in use at several fish farms in Finland and Russia.