Circular economy thinking

BioMar seeks to decouple feed supply chains from directly competing with food for human consumption. Tapping into unutilized waste streams is a way to add value to feed and the planet.

In a circular economy, resources are kept in use for as long as possible to extract their maximum value. Products and materials are recovered and renewed, leveraging business models designed to support this regenerative activity.

For the aquafeed sector, this means: i) identifying waste streams for direct (or minimally processed) use, such as marine or terrestrial by-products, and/or ii) upgrading/upcycling waste streams to higher-value products for use as feedstuff, such as microbial products from forestry residues.

Increasing circular raw material use is particularly important for feed producers, considering the finite and scarce supply of vital nutrients like phosphorus and omega-3 fatty acids and the ever-increasing need to reduce our competition with human food sectors. In addition, the increasing demand for bioenergy further limits resource availability due to bioenergy's heavy reliance on crops such as corn, rapeseed and plant by-products.

To meet the "50% Restorative and/or Circular Ingredients by 2030" ambition, BioMar follows the European Union's Waste Framework Directive [EC, 2018] and has classified raw materials into the following categories: main products, co-products, by-products, and waste products (table 1), with by-products and waste products defined as circular raw materials.

Despite having different origins, circular raw materials have the following characteristics: (1) The value of by-products and waste products is not critical for the profitability of the main product, and (2) the raw material has little or no market for human consumption. Examples of circular raw materials include land animal and marine by-products originating from the food processing industry.