Bakkafrost launches ”Healthy Living Plan”

Bakkafrost, the largest salmon producer in the Faroes, has announced plans to invest in a new plant that turns waste from farmed salmon into fertiliser and energy.

This ambitious plan was announced in Bakkafrost’s 2018 sustainability report, which was published this week. The salmon farming firm will join dairy farmers and other aquaculture operators in investing in the plant.

Other significant plans announced in Bakkafrost’s 2018 sustainability report include taking full control of the development of the Faroese strain of farmed salmon from the islands’ government by 2021 and the continued construction of a land-based smolt facility which they hope will allow them to increase production by 30 percent.

2017 was another successful year for the salmon industry in the Faroe Islands, and Regin Jacobsen, the CEO of Bakkafrost, is optimistic for Bakkafrost’s future:

”Even with some hurdles on our way in 2017, the year ended as the best in Bakkafrost’s history. Our company has developed significant improvements during recent years to improve sustainable operations, and we know that despite the areas where we still can improve, we are committed to the journey of improving sustainability in our operations. The learning curve has been steep and a big effort has been taken by our employees to amend and change operations into a higher level of sustainability. Several significant improvements are ahead of us, and we are delighted to see these commence”, Regin Jacobsen said in Bakkafrost’s 2018 sustainability report.

But what is your approach to sustainability at Bakkafrost?

RJ: The salmon industry has faced some difficult challenges over the years which has made it imperative for us to understand and take a long-term view of the sustainability risks facing our business if we are to survive and thrive. We believe that coming together to address many of these risks through national initiatives, such as our unique Faroese Veterinary Model, has given us an advantage, and we are proud to be leading the way in areas such as fish health and welfare. Our collaboration with the GSI and our commitment to various standards and certifications such as the Aquaculture Stewardship Council (ASC), has also enabled us to work with the rest of the industry to address systemic issues. We have not stopped there though. We have set ourselves apart from our competitors by investing heavily in our integrated supply chain to produce healthy world-class salmon, as sustainably as possible. The new plan outlined in this report is setting out for the first time how we intend to build on our work so far, with a new vision to promote healthy living.

Please tell us more about this renewed approach to sustainability!

RJ: We are calling this our Healthy Living Plan. We believe that by investing in the health of our business, our people, our salmon, the environment and the communities in which we operate, we will achieve our corporate mission to produce healthy world-class salmon, today and in the future, and realise our sustainability vision to enable healthy living for millions of people globally. Setting out a series of commitments will enable us to increase transparency in how we manage our most material issues. This new refocused approach to sustainability is the result of a ‘materiality analysis’ carried out in 2017, which involved consultation across our business and with numerous external stakeholders such as investors, customers, community representatives, regulators, NGOs, suppliers and sustainability experts. Our new plan marks a further pledge to address these issues and create long-term value for our stakeholders and society through five strategic priorities, commitments against our top ten issues, and greater transparency against all issues identified in the process.

Author: Jens Hákun Leo