TripleNine is working to make mussels a new feed ingredient and to exploit their ability to collect nitrogen from the ocean.
Sustainable Development Goals at play
• SDG 14: Life below water
• Target 14.1: Reduce marine pollution
• By 2025, prevent and significantly reduce marine pollution of all kinds, in particular from land-based activities, including marine debris and nutrient pollution.
• SDG 2: Zero Hunger
• Target 2.4: By 2030, ensure sustainable food production systems and implement resilient agricultural practices that increase productivity and production, that help maintain ecosystems, that strengthen capacity for adaptation to climate change, extreme weather, drought, flooding and other disasters and that progressively improve land and soil quality
Some hate their texture; others eat them as delicacies accompanied by white wine, garlic and parsley. But mussels can do much more than look good on a dinner table. In fact, mussel meal can be a useful nutrient in feed to poultry, pigs or fish. At the same time, mussels reduce marine pollution by absorbing nitrogen and phosphorus from the water. This combination is both good for the environment and good for the economy according to TripleNine, one of the world’s leading suppliers of marine ingredients.
“Everyone knows that the population of the world requires increasing amounts of food. The sea plays a crucial role here. As a producer of marine ingredients, it was natural for us to ask ourselves if there are resources in the ocean we should use better. The simple answer is yes. Mussels are an interesting feed ingredient. They are also formidable at absorbing nitrogen from the ocean,” says Chief Commercial Officer at TripleNine Kenneth Storbank.
Although a mussel industry exists today, it has not fully exploited mussels as a resource, says Kenneth Storbank:
“The traditional mussel industry focusses on the consumer market, which means that only the large mussels are used. The rest are simply thrown away as waste. Of course, it is not optimal, because the smaller mussels that do not fit the dinner table can be used as ingredients in animal feed.”
According to Kenneth Storbank, more and more people have also become aware of the mussels’ ability to reduce the amount of unintended nutrients in the marine environment in addition to serving as feed ingredients:
“It is no secret that fish farming has an impact on the environment, although it is significantly less than the breeding of animal protein sources on land. Therefore, we have collaborated with a number of skilled partners from public, private and research-based organisations with the aim of developing a comprehensive solution in which mussels are grown to compensate for the environmental impact of aquaculture (fish farms) and agriculture. The more nitrogen and phosphorus we can absorb from the ocean with mussels, the more food we will be able to produce at the same time to feed the world’s population without adversely affecting the marine environment.”
Working with the Sustainable Development Goals has made a positive impact in TripleNine, says Kenneth Storbank:
“Our ambition is to increase our focus on sustainability. We believe that if you want to be an attractive business partner in the long run, you need to find a balanced approach where you contribute positively to your surroundings. We contribute to the food chain by producing ingredients for animal feed, which later become meat products for humans.”
Through the SDG Accelerator, TripleNine has worked intensely with the Sustainable Development Goals:
“Integrating the SDGs directly into the business gives you a completely new perspective on your work. Suddenly, sustainable development is not something you care about out of obligation, but something you do to develop your business. It is extremely meaningful to be part of a company that helps solve some of the major problems in the world.”
To implement the solution TripleNine is facing a maturation process that targets both technical and infrastructure development, Kenneth Storbank explains:
“Firstly, we have to adjust the existing equipment before we are able to produce mussel meal in a commercially viable way. Our technical colleagues are working on fine-tuning this. Secondly, we need to find the right infrastructure in cooperation with our partners. In the long term, it is possible to imagine an entire ‘mussel purification plant’, which would have a massive positive impact on the marine environment. That is our vision, and we are determined to make it happen. Once we have found the right formula, it is undoubtedly a solution we can spread globally.”
This is how TripleNine contributes to the Sustainable Development Goals
- TripleNine is working with a number of partners from public, private and research-based organisations with the purpose of developing a solution where mussels are used to collect nitrogen and phosphorus from the sea and subsequently processed into feed ingredients.
- In addition to reducing marine pollution, the solution will help increase the production of proteins from the ocean, thus helping to solve some of the world’s most urgent food challenges.
Facts about TripleNine
- Established in 1948.
- Approximately 250 employees.
- Owned by private investors.
- Production companies in Denmark, Norway and Chile. Sales throughout the world.
• “At TripleNine, we see great opportunities for increased cultivation of mussels, as mussels can be processed into a functional feed ingredient, for example for poultry, fish and piglets. Likewise, mussels can help remove unwanted nutrients from aquaculture, thus making it possible to increase the production of proteins in the ocean as this becomes an increasingly important pantry for the growing population on our blue planet.”
Jes Bjerregaard, CEO, TripleNine Group.
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.