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Miami-based tilapia breeder Spring Genetics and El Salvador’s Acceso Oferta Local – Productos de El Salvador, SA DE CV have signed a distribution agreement to supply Salvadoran tilapia farmers and local organisations with high-quality tilapia fingerlings
The agreement features the latest and improved genetics from one of the most advanced tilapia breeding programs in the world.
The tilapia strain is marketed under the Spring Tilapia brand has been recognised by tilapia producers in the USA and Latin America. Their stock has been selected for 19 generations on major commercial traits such as fast growth, survivability, disease resistance and fillet yield, and is the only tilapia strain with improved resistance to Streptococcus agalactiae and Streptococcus iniae in their genes.
Spring Genetics is part of Benchmark Holdings, a pioneering innovation company operating in the aquaculture, agriculture, advanced nutrition, and animal health sectors.
Acceso El Salvador, built by the Clinton Giustra Enterprise Partnership (CGEP), is a smallholder sourcing company in El Salvador, sourcing tilapia, other fish and seafood as well as fruits and vegetables from smallholder fishers and farmers. Acceso El Salvador sells these products to Super Selectos and other buyers, providing a one-stop shop tailored to buyers’ sourcing, quality and traceability needs while facilitating long-term market linkages to improve smallholders’ incomes. The company employs a marine biologist and aquaculture technicians dedicated to the production of tilapia who work closely with its network of fish farmers to improve their production.
The partnership between Spring Genetics and Acceso El Salvador meets a growing need in El Salvador for high-quality fingerlings. Tilapia represents the majority of all aquaculture production in El Salvador and the rapid growth in production is fuelled by a continually increasing market demand.
However, this accelerated increase has not occurred in a technologically advanced manner, and small and medium-scale producers suffer from various issues affecting productivity, including quality of fingerlings, production capacity, and diseases. Additionally, the current tilapia value chain is extremely fragmented with several levels of intermediation, uncertain food safety handling practices, a broken cold chain, and inflated prices where the producer earns less than twenty-five per cent of the final product value.
Acceso El Salvador aims to solve these issues by working along the entire tilapia value chain from providing quality fish inputs – through its partnership with Guatemalan company ARECA which implements Best Aquaculture Practices – to increasing tilapia fillet sizes to ensuring the freshness and quality of fish delivered to supermarkets.