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November 24, 2015

Canada

Planet Shrimp Gets Provincial Grant

 

   

 

On November 23, 2015, Jeff Leal, Minister of Agriculture in Ontario Province, visited Planet Shrimp, Inc., to announce an investment of up to $237,216 in the company.  The province is partnering with the Aylmer-based company to increase the production of locally grown food and create jobs.  The funding will allow Planet Shrimp to acquire technology to produce marine shrimp at a large, indoor farm, the first of its kind in Canada.

 

Marvyn Budd, President of Planet Shrimp said: “Our fresh, naturally grown shrimp will reach Ontario consumers within hours of harvest.  More than 85 percent of the shrimp Ontario consumers now buy is imported as a frozen product.  This grant from the Local Food Fund is essential to helping Planet Shrimp build an indoor facility in Aylmer, Ontario, where we will harvest Pacific white shrimp, produced without the use of antibiotics...every week of the year.  The commercial scale of our indoor operation is a first globally.”  The first phase of the farm will have about 65,000 square feet and the final size will be about 225,000 square feet.  When completed it will employ as many as 75 people.  It takes about 18 weeks for postlarvae (imported from Florida) to reach a harvest size of 25 grams.

 

The first crop of shrimp is expected to be ready for harvest by the summer of 2016.  The first phase of the project is costing “several million” dollars, and the plan is to invest more than $40 million by the time the farm is fully developed,” said Budd.  The money will be used to construct a closed-loop, bio-secure environment that will “virtually eliminate” the possibility of disease entering the facility.  The water will recirculate through filters every 90 minutes, Budd said.

 

Canadian shrimp imports are increasing, driven in part by a growing Asian population.  But Budd said the drivers also include a demand for domestically sourced food raised on a diet of local ingredients.  “I think the changing demographic is (customers) wanting a healthy product,” he said.

 

Mark Tytel, marketing director for Export Packers, said his company imports tons of shrimp into Canada every year, all of it frozen after leaving earthen outdoor ponds in Southeast Asia.  His company is an investor in Planet Shrimp and will also distribute its shrimp.  The aim is to make sure it’s certified as sustainably raised and harvested.  “At the end of the day, Planet Shrimp will produce a better, healthier shrimp,” Tytel said.

 

Information: Marvyn Budd, Planet Shrimp, Inc., 516 John Street North, Building 11D, Aylmer 11D, Ontario N5H 2B8, Canada (phone 1-647-494-4141, cell phone 1-647-280-1277, fax 1-888-316-8188, email marvyn.budd@planetshrimp.com, webpage www.planetshrimp.com).

 

Sources: 1. News.Ontario.ca.  Ontario Supporting Planet Shrimp in Aylmer.  Media Contacts (Susin Micallef Communications Branch—519-826-3145 and Christina Crowley-Arklie Minister’s Office—416-326-3069).  November 23, 2015.  2. Emails to Shrimp News International.  Subject: Article Planet Shrimp.  From: Marvyn Budd.  November 24, 2015.  3. The London Free Press.  Agribusiness/Province Investing $237,000 in New Indoor Shrimp Farm Housed in Former Aylmer Tobacco Plant.  Debora Van Brenk.  November 23, 2015.

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