Agriloops

AgroBRIDGES Good Practice Recording Template
Author(s) Aurélie Gardarin & Pauline Bodin
Insert photo or any visual image or diagram e.g. /Word or Image Collage
Choose a primary theme that the Good Practice adheres to Mutual benefits between primary producers and consumers
If relevant choose a secondary theme that the Good Practice adheres to
If relevant choose a tertiary theme that the Good Practice adheres to
EIP Practice Abstract Format:
Short summary for practitioners in English on the (final or expected) outcomes (1000-1500 characters, word count – no spaces).This summary should be as interesting as possible for farmers/end-users, using a direct and easy understandable language and pointing out entrepreneurial elements which are particularly relevant for practitioners. Research oriented aspects which do not help the understanding of the practice itself should be avoided.
Short description of the ‘Good Practice’: The approach aims to produce prawns in Brittany from aquaponic farms. The aim is to offer an alternative to Asian production, which is currently flooding the French market, and to limit the environmental impact of current production methods and imports, as France consumes an average of 120,000 tonnes of prawns per year, the second largest consumer country after Spain. It thus proposes a production method based on strict traceability and respect for the environment to create a shorter and circular food supply chain. The company is developing a circular economy concept: the aquaponics technique, a soil-less production solution for prawns farming. The shellfish are produced in an aquaponic system in a salty environment and their waste/effluents are recovered and used as fertiliser for hydroponic vegetable production (mesclun, basil, cherry tomatoes and cabbage). The products obtained are offered locally as the prawns are not frozen but distributed as fresh products.
The aquaponics farm developed consists of simultaneously raising shrimp here and growing plants above ground, with the water and excrement of the former being used to fertilise the vegetables within a closed circuit. This process avoids the use of inputs and saves up to 90% of water. Productivity gains can be as high as 25% compared to open field farming. To optimise the profitability of the system, the choice was made to produce saltwater crustaceans and fish whose added value is much more interesting. The originality of the approach lies in the fact that the system is centred on the production of aquaculture species with vegetables as “co-products”, whereas aquaponics is usually used more to grow vegetables than to sell the associated fish, which are then used only to fertilise the plants.
The difficulty of the model was to grow vegetables in salty water, even though it was fertilised by the excrement of the crustaceans. Agriloops succeeded in developing a completely artificial growing medium, controlling all the minerals in the water to ensure that the salinity was optimal for both the shrimp and the vegetables. The system works as follows, the shrimp/gambas are grown in a compartment from which the dirty water is led to a filter consisting of bacteria that naturally convert ammonia into nitrate. The above-ground vegetable crops feed directly into the salt water, which is rich in useful nutrients. Vegetables already produced include arugula, mizuna, mesclun, Chinese mustard, cherry tomatoes and cabbage. Crustaceans and vegetables are cultivated without antibiotics or pesticides, only microelements such as iron or magnesium are added to the water in which the vegetables are grown.

Main results/outcomes of the activity (expected or final):
The prawns and vegetables have been sold in a few local markets, fishmongers’ shops and to Michelin-starred chefs. The vegetables have a strong taste and an improved vitamin C content. The selling price is still a bit high and is around the costs of the organic market.
A project to build a first industrial farm is underway and will consist of a farm capable of producing 20-25 tonnes of shrimp and 40-50 tonnes of vegetables per year by 2022. The initial objectives are to operate the farms in-house in order to validate the model and then in the medium term to offer the technology through licensing to the agricultural and agri-food industry.
Further information/Reference: https://www.agriloops.com/
Short summary for practitioners in native language on the (final or expected) outcomes (1000-1500 characters, word count – no spaces).
This summary should be as interesting as possible for farmers/end-users, using a direct and easy understandable language and pointing out entrepreneurial elements which are particularly relevant for practitioners. Research oriented aspects which do not help the understanding of the practice itself should be avoided.
La démarche vise la production de crevettes en Bretagne à partir de fermes aquaponiques. Elle a pour objectif d’offrir une alternative à la production asiatique, qui aujourd’hui inonde le marché français, et de limiter l’impact environnemental dû au mode de production actuel et à l’importation, la France consommant en moyenne 120 000 tonnes de gambas par an, 2nd pays consommateurs après l’Espagne. Elle propose ainsi un mode de production qui repose sur une traçabilité stricte et respectueuse de l’environnement

L’entreprise développe un concept d’économie circulaire : la technique de l’aquaponie, une solution de production hors-sol, pour la production de crevettes. Les crustacés sont produits en système aquaponique en milieu salé et leurs rejets/effluents sont récupérés et utilisés comme fertilisants pour la production maraichère en hydroponie, concernant des légumes de type mesclun, basilic, tomates cerises, chou. Les produits obtenus sont proposés localement puisque les crevettes ne subissent aucune congélation et sont proposées fraîches.
La ferme aquaponique développée consiste à élever simultanément des crevettes ici et à faire pousser des plantes hors-sol, l’eau et les excréments des premiers servant à fertiliser les légumes au sein d’un circuit fermé. Ce process évite l’usage d’intrants et permet jusqu’à 90% d’économie d’eau. Les gains de productivité peuvent monter jusqu’à 25% par rapport à l’agriculture de plein champ. Pour optimiser la rentabilité du système, le choix a été fait de produire des crustacés et poissons d’eau salée dont la valeur ajoutée est beaucoup plus intéressante. L’originalité du la démarche repose sur le fait que le système est centré sur la production des espèces aquacoles avec les légumes en “coproduits”, alors qu’habituellement l’aquaponie est d’avantage utilisée pour faire pousser des légumes que pour vendre les poissons associés ne servant alors qu’à fertiliser les végétaux.
La difficulté du modèle était de faire pousser des légumes dans de l’eau salée bien que fertilisée par les déjections des crustacés. Agriloops a réussi à mettre au point un milieu de culture totalement artificiel, en contrôlant tous les minéraux présents dans l’eau pour doser la salinité afin qu’elle soit optimale à la fois pour les crevettes et les légumes. Le système fonctionne de la manière suivante, les crevettes/gambas sont élevées dans un compartiment d’où l’eau souillée est conduite vers un filtre constitué de bactéries transformant naturellement l’ammoniac en nitrate. Les cultures de légumes hors-sol s’en nourrissent directement dans l’eau salée ainsi riche en nutriments utiles. Les légumes déjà produits sont roquette, mizuna, mesclun, moutarde de chine, tomates cerises, choux. Crustacés et légumes sont cultivés sans antibiotique ni pesticide, seuls des microéléments comme le fer ou lemagnésium sont ajoutés dans l’eau de culture des légumes.

Pearls, Puzzles, Proposals? Pearls: The production will be carried out initially with Agriloops’ own farms in order to validate the model and then in the medium term to offer the technology through licensing to the agriculture and agri-food industry.
Puzzles: Will the selling price be adapted to consumer demand? Will production costs be compatible with the expectations of future licensees and users? Is this type of off-farm production acceptable and well perceived by the consumer?
Proposals: This is a rather unique model of soil-less production in a salty environment, allowing the production of both high value-added marine species and vegetables with interesting organoleptic qualities close to the place of consumption.
What needs did the ‘good practice’ respond to? Agriloops enables the relocation of a sector that has a strong negative environmental impact under current production conditions.
Methodology Used: desk based
Sector All Sectors
Actors/Stakeholders involved local consumers, start-up company providing the platform
Region, Country Brittany, France
Media attachment (e.g. video link) or other attachment describing/depicting the Good Pratice https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bB2roWvCM9g
This project has received funding from the European Union’s Horizon 2020
research and innovation programme under grant agreement No. 101000788

 

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