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Gloucestershire Business News

Gloucestershire company to start land-based shrimp farm

A Gloucestershire start-up business, Land Ocean Farm, is creating the technology and network to produce seafood in a land-based and bio-secure environment in the UK.

Using a re-circulating aquaculture system, the land-based shrimp farm, at a location yet to be agreed, will combat both food fraud and food miles to provide healthy, nutrient-dense and pollution-free seafood at an affordable price for restaurants, retailers and consumers. The initiative will also create a diversified income stream for UK farmers.

UK restaurants and retailers import 721,000 tonnes of fish and seafood every year. Of this, 78,000 tonnes are prawns and shrimp, often shipped from thousands of miles across the globe.

The founders of Land Ocean Farm, Litu Mohiuddin and Rasel Mahmud, are restaurateurs themselves, who have found that the quality of shrimp is inconsistent and often poor.

Rasel Mahmud, Land Ocean Farm project leader, said: "Traceability and transparency in the fish supply chain is poor. Despite Europe's very strict food safety policy for many products, seafood shipped from across the world is difficult to trace, due to a fragmented and under-regulated system. This makes it difficult to know if harmful chemicals, antibiotics or hormones have been used in the production and shipping process.

"By developing bio-secure, land-based, aquaculture production facilities in the UK, Land Ocean Farm aims to produce consistent supplies of fresh, quality shrimp, that address traceability, as well as environmental issues in current supply chains."

Producing shrimp in a land-based farm will reduce the carbon footprint, food miles and biodiversity pressures of overfishing in natural water resources, producing seafood sustainably and responsibly. The indoor recirculating system will operate using green energy from an anaerobic digestion (AD) plant to provide heat and power, while water is recycled many times over and any organic residues are returned to the AD plant to create more green energy.

Being produced in the UK for the UK market will reduce energy requirements and carbon emissions resulting from freezing and transporting containers of shrimp from distant waters.

Working with world-leading aquaculture experts, Land Ocean Farm has established the technology and will be building its first plant in 2022.

Aquaculture is one of the fastest growing food sectors in the world and this will be the largest scale producer yet in the UK.

Land Ocean Farm plans to partner with farmers looking for diversified income, to build satellite units for production and enhance the circular economy. Farmers can use excess heat from AD plants powered by farm waste, as well as use crop by-products to make fish feeds and generate fish waste compost to add nutrients to their soil.

Rasel continued: "Our success in aquaculture depends on others being successful with us, so we want to collaborate and create that success together."

With its knowledge of the restaurant industry, Land Ocean Farm will sell mainly business-to-business.

Land Ocean Farm is working with Farm491, the agri-tech incubator and innovation space at the Royal Agricultural University.

Rasel said: "Sarah Carr at Farm491 has stimulated very valuable third-party discussions and insight, both putting wind in our sails and challenging us and asking the difficult questions.

"Being part of Farm491 has created a spiderweb of connections which opens other doors. With anyone you meet in the network, there is an instinctive element of trust and seal of approval which helps accelerate mutual benefit. This is so important, especially for young entrepreneurs who haven't yet built up that network."

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