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Mr Anno Galema has been the Managing Director of Coppens International for 20 years; at the opening ceremony he gave a timeline of the company’s history and all of the important steps it made before coming to their groundbreaking partnership with Alltech. Upon cutting the cake of the collaboration between the two companies, it was reported that this moment could be summarised simply as, “Serving global aquaculture, stronger together.”

“The future of Coppens International” Anno Galema - Former Managing Director, Coppens International We will actively utilise Coppens 20 years’ worth of experience in the market, we will very actively utilise all the research and development that we carried out last year, we will utilise all the extrusion technology know-how that we have developed during the years and we also have to utilise the know-how of aquaculture we have from Coppens. Alltech has a worldwide network; it’s very active in North America, South America, China, and all over the world whereas Coppens is better known in Europe, Russia and Africa. Alltech has a large nutritional know-how and R&D capacity that we also want to utilise.  There are also a lot of Alltech products that can support and improve Coppens feed. So in the next 10 years, you will find Alltech Coppens worldwide. 

In 2016, Dr Pearse Lyons appointed Alric Blake the CEO of Alltech, taking on the responsibility for leading commercial growth and management of Alltech’s business. This is something he has very happily fulfilled with the acqusition of Coppens International, and talks at the ceremony just what this means for both Alltech and their breakthrough into the aquaculture industry and how these are companies that just keep moving onwards and upwards.

“I don’t know about fish!”... But everybody in the world knows this name

Alric Blake - CEO, Alltech Dr Lyons always explains to me, "Alric, opportunities of a lifetime, need to be taken in the lifetime of the opportunity." When you’re presented with an opportunity, you actually have to make the most of that opportunity in the lifetime of that opportunity, or it’s gone. So I can remember, I guess it must be 1.5 years ago, getting a call saying ‘we really must go and see this person called Anno, they’ve got this amazing company, that really are at the forefront of fish and aquaculture.’ So I replied “I don’t know about fish!” But I’ll go and see this guy’ and in typical style as we go through the due diligence process, everybody in the world seems to know about this name - Coppens. I’d never heard of it, but everyone we spoke to said, “Coppens, oh Coppens, they are an amazing company. What their research does, what they’re able to do in the aquaculture space is so important and it’s so ground-breaking.” So we came over and we spent some time together and we decided that this is a company we want to bring into our family. When we bring things into our family, we actually look at ‘how do we grow?’. So we said, with a company that we knew very little about at the time, let’s say about aquaculture; we had some great specialists in, but we actually didn’t have a platform: ‘where do we go from here?’ We decided that the company that Anno had built, with his great team, that this was going to be the platform for Alltech to build in aquaculture. Within a very small period of time, we’ve been able to grow that out and it has grown out around the world.

Things that our industry has never seen before

That success is down to the team, thank you guys very much for that, but more importantly down to our customers and the experienced distributors, so thank you for that. But therein lay the opportunity, the opportunity to do something very, very different: the opportunity to grow out and to show the world, what could be done. What could be done, not just in an aquaculture space but also with new technologies: with algae technologies, with new nutritional technologies, things that in our industry had never been seen before. Over the period of over the last 12 months or so, that platform has grown. It’s grown in a number of areas: we’ve applied some completely new sciences, that people haven’t seen before and that’s opened new market places for us. One of the most important things about that growth is: what we do in relation to research and innovation. People ask me, “What is Alltech?” and I say, “It’s easy, Alltech is an innovation and research company, with a primacy in science.” We then apply that to the commercial aspects of the world; no more important than the research we’re going to be doing in the new Alltech Coppens research centre.

‘Sad fish, happy fish’

I’m very excited about the future, what it holds for the company, what it holds for the team and what it holds for you. I believe it’s the start, I believe that we have the opportunity of a lifetime and what we have to now do, is work with that in the lifetime of that opportunity. So, I hope you all enjoy the next few talks; I look forward to seeing you all as a guest in your prospective countries or regions over a period of time, where you can actually educate me a bit more on ‘sad fish, happy fish’. 28 | November 2017 - International Aquafeed

NOV 2017 - International Aquafeed magazine