Pure Salmon signs distribution deal worth $200m with Japan’s Itochu

Investor-backed firm Pure Salmon has signed a deal with Japanese conglomerate Itochu to distribute the 10,000 metric tons of Atlantics it plans to produce in a recirculating aquaculture system (RAS) farm in the Asian country.

The retail value of this agreement for Pure Salmon — which is backed by 8F Asset Management — is worth approximately $200 million annually, said Erol Emed, CEO of Soul of Japan, Pure Salmon’s brand in the country. “Our distribution deal with Itochu is a significant validation of our strategy and vision. And it should be a clear indication to the industry that, despite being a new business, we have a product and an operation that should be taken very seriously.”

Pure Salmon’s farm in the city of Tsu is due to be finished in 2021. Tsu is in Mie Prefecture and is “an optimum distance” from Tokyo, Nagoya, and Osaka, allowing easy distribution to Japan’s most populous main consumption centers, the company said. At 137,000 square meters, it will be the largest land-based salmon farm ever built in Asia, Pure Salmon said.

“We are delighted to have signed this landmark agreement with Soul of Japan which will bring fresh, healthy and sustainable salmon to our customers in the Japanese market. We also look forward to developing and broadening this relationship in the future to include other markets where Pure Salmon is building land-based salmon facilities,” said Kenichi Tai, chief operating officer for the fresh food division of Itochu.

“This agreement, with one of the largest and most respected distribution partners in the region, is further proof of the huge appetite in Asia for fresh, sustainable, land farmed salmon. It is a significant achievement for us, and a major milestone on our journey to providing consumers around the world with safe, environmentally friendly salmon, free from microplastics, antibiotics, pesticides, and other contaminants,” said Stephane Farouze, a board director of Pure Salmon and chairman and founder of 8F.

Pure Salmon already has a fully operational facility in Poland, producing adult-size fish of 4-5 kilograms, and projects underway in Japan, Europe, America, China and the Kingdom of Lesotho, an enclaved country within the border of South Africa. The company has a goal of producing 260,000t of salmon per year in facilities around the world.


Pure Salmon to invest $250m in Africa’s first salmon RAS

Last month, Pure Salmon announced another big piece of news, a 20,000t RAS facility in Africa, in Lesotho.

Located in the Butha-Buthe Highland region of Lesotho, a separate nation inside the country of South Africa, the $250m farm will be developed in partnership with the Lesotho National Development Corporation and is predicted to have annual revenues accounting for 8% of the country’s GDP, said Pure Salmon.

Due to complete by 2023, the project will generate over 250 full-time jobs in Lesotho and will be powered on 100% renewable energy from the adjacent hydroelectric power station.

In February, Pure Salmon also confirmed an American site will be in Tazewell County in the US state of Virginia. The plan is to produce 20,000t per annum. The project also comes with $20m of financial assistance from local development agencies, the company said.