Food financier Pieter Totte, who is behind such successful AIM-quoted endeavours as confectioner Glisten, fish products maker Real Good Food and freshly floated ice-cream producer Hill Station, is now turning his attentions to farming tropical Barramundi fish.
Dutchman Totte maintains that the accepted way to make money from food is to create an added-value product for supermarket chains, which have seen increased growth in their prepared food sales over the past decade. However, following the successful fundraising under the Enterprise Investment Scheme (EIS) for a project to farm cod in the Shetlands by the established Johnson salmon fishing family, Totte now wants to venture into the waters of aquaculture as well.
Rather than concentrate on domestic species, such as salmon or cod, that take three years to reach maturity in the cold waters of the North Sea, Totte is concentrating on Barramundi. This Australian fish is becoming a favoured dish on many restaurant tables.
He sees an opening by constructing purpose-built heated pools to rear Barramundi in the UK. They avoid the need to import the fish from Down Under and allow farmers to circulate water continuously, keeping the stock healthy.
Best of all though, says Totte, the Barramundi will grow at a much faster rate and be ready to be ‘harvested’ within three months. This will reduce farming costs compared with cold water sea-farming and improve returns significantly.