Aller Aqua is developing a solution that will educate fish farmers around the world.
Sustainable Development Goals at play
• SDG 4: Quality education.
• Target 4.4: increase the number of people with relevant skills for financial success.
• By 2030, substantially increase the number of youth and adults who have relevant skills, including technical and vocational skills, for employment, decent jobs and entrepreneurship.
Today, fish farming is one of the fastest growing food sectors in the world. This is not only good news for the world’s population who demands rapidly increasing amounts of food. It is also good news for the world’s fish farmers. Aquaculture can help raise living standards in some of the poorest areas in the world. The planet also benefits as the production of 1 kg of fish emits only 10 per cent of the CO2 of 1 kg of beef produced.
The Danish fish feed producer Aller Aqua has been producing high-quality fish feed for more than 50 years. Today, the company has six factories spread across the world. The largest of these is in Egypt.
“Many people still believe that Africa is only desert, but nothing could be further from the truth,” says Henrik T. Halken, group vice president of Aller Aqua. “Some of the world's largest freshwater resources are actually found on the African continent. With a population of about one billion people, it is a natural growth market for us.”
Aller Aqua has long had a strong market position in Africa. However, the challenge is that many farmers still use low-quality products and also feed incorrectly:
“If you buy bad fish feed or feed with trash fish, you will need a lot of it. If you buy good fish feed like ours, you will need a lot less. However, there are many farmers who do not know this. As a result, they use too much feed and miss out on production opportunities. It is bad for the water quality and the environment, just as it has a negative impact on profitability”
To ensure proper use of the company’s feed products, Aller Aqua has invested considerable resources in recent years in organising courses and seminars for local farmers. Knowledge sharing is one of the company’s core values. This has also been the focus for Aller Aqua’s solution in the SDG Accelerator process. Henrik T. Halken explains:
“We can educate the farmers and continuously provide them with new information. This will help local farmers get a head start, scale their production, ensure greater earnings and better living conditions, as well as help them inspire each other.”
For now, Aller Aqua has chosen Nigeria as the location for a pilot project, as there is a pronounced knowledge gap there. Even fish farmers who have graduated from the university in Lagos have often been taught the wrong things. Knowledge sharing can help transform and ensure better fish production to meet Nigeria's growing population.
Knowledge sharing has therefore been the focus for Aller Aqua's participation in the SDG Accelerator process under the auspices of the UNDP:
“There is no doubt that the actual development of the solution is where we need help the most. Through the accelerator process, we have received a lot of concrete suggestions that we had not necessarily considered before. We have also discussed topics such as funding and communication. We have explored a variety of options.”
Ahead of Aller Aqua is a development process that will result in the first version of the solution:
“Of course, it takes some time to develop a complete solution, but fortunately we have skilled people and we know what we want. As soon as the solution is rolled out in Nigeria, and we are 100 per cent satisfied, we are ready to conquer the world,” concludes Henrik T. Halken.
This is how Aller Aqua contributes to the Sustainable Development Goals
- Aller Aqua is developing a knowledge sharing solution, which enables local fish farmers to avoid feed waste while optimising their production by means of targeted training and information.
Facts about Aller Aqua
- Founded in 1910 as part of a grocery business. 100 per cent focus on feed for fish farming from 2007.
- Approximately 400 employees.
- Privately owned.
- Geographical presence includes factories in Denmark, Poland, Germany, Egypt, China and Zambia, as well as sales to a total of 60 countries worldwide.
"Fish farming is not only one of the fastest growing food sectors in the world. It is also a lever to improve living conditions for people in some of the poorest areas in the world. At Aller Aqua, we are passionate about educating the farmers to improve their businesses. With new tools, we can help them scale their production and increase their earnings while protecting the environment.”
Hans Erik Bylling, group CEO, Aller Aqua
SDG Accelerator for SMEs
- SDG Accelerator for SMEs is an innovation programme for small and medium-sized industrial enterprises created by the UNDP in 2018 with support from the Danish Industry Foundation. The programme focusses on developing and accelerating business solutions addressing the Sustainable Development Goals. The programme is implemented in collaboration with Deloitte and is tested in Denmark in 2018-2019 with 30 SMEs, after which the aim is to roll out in other countries.