Farmed tilapia in Coopecon. (Photo: Stockfile)
Wal-Mart funds development of two new types of tilapia
Friday, November 23, 2012, 23:50 (GMT + 9)
Wal-Mart Brazil signed an agreement with the State University of Santa Cruz (UESC) and with the institution Casa Familiar of Aguas del Bajo Sur (CFA-BSB), linked to the Inland Water Farmers’ Cooperative (Coopecon) in order to encourage the development of two new versions of tilapia: salmon-like and enriched with omega-3.
The idea is that both products are developed from changes in feed used to feed the fish.
The agreement was concluded in the framework of the International Fair of Fisheries and Aquaculture Aquapesca Brasil, organised earlier this month in Bahia.
According to the commercial director of Wal-Mart, Marcelo Almada, the agreement will enable social and financial growth in the region, and the improvement of the quality of the resource.
"It will be an exclusive product of our stores, which will certainly make a difference in our sales," said the entrepreneur.
Meanwhile, the head of research Luís Gustavo Braga, of UESC, explained that "in each study, a ration with specific ingredients will serve as a parameter."
"In the case of salmon-like tilapia, we will observe the colour of the animal. In the case of tilapia with omega-3, we will analyze the increase in fatty acids, which reduces the risk of cardiovascular disease," he added.
The choice of the tilapia is due to the fact that it is a freshwater fish with a growing market in the country. In addition, it has defined production technology and availability to modify the production system.
"The development of certified fish products contributes to sustainability and social inclusion in the production chain of tilapia in Bajo Sur of Bahía," highlighted Camila Valverde, director of Sustainability of Wal-Mart Brazil.
In addition, Marcelo Costa, head of Innovation and Social Associations of CFA-BSB, stated that young students from Casa Familiar will directly benefit from the provision of financial resources generated from the sale of both products.
"We used to produce about 50 tonnes of tilapia per month, and today between 60 and 70 tonnes. Out of that total, 80 per cent is sold through Wal-Mart," explained the president of the Cooperative, José Raimundo Santos de Oliveira.
By Analia Murias