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NEOM food company strengthens Saudi aquaculture sector with strategic deals

RIYADH: Topian, the NEOM food company working to future-proof food systems, marked the first day of the Saudi International Marine Exhibition and Conference with three strategic agreements, aimed at strengthening Saudi Arabia’s position as a global leader in sustainable aquaculture.

On Sunday Topian signed a key agreement with the National Livestock and Fisheries Development Program focused on research and technological development, sustainable aquaculture practices in the Red Sea, and establishing a national seafood market.

Topian signed another agreement with Pure Salmon, a global leader based in Abu Dhabi, specializing in land-based aquaculture facilities featuring Recirculating Aquaculture Systems technology, to establish a facility at NEOM that will cover the full value chain of salmon production.

The facility, which will be the first of its kind in the region, will address the high demand for salmon in the Kingdom and neighboring countries by delivering local products marked by freshness, quality, and taste.

Topian signed the third agreement with the National Aquaculture Group, aiming to contribute to the development of the local aquaculture sector, and to further commercialize NAQUA’s seafood products across the Saudi market.

Ali Al-Shaikhi, CEO of the NLFDP and director general of fisheries at the Saudi Ministry of Environment, Water and Agriculture, said that this agreement focuses on advancing the livestock and fisheries sector in four crucial areas. 

“These encompass research, technological development, and innovation to foster the growth of a sustainable aquaculture sector. The agreement specifically aims to develop collaborative procedures, establishing best practices and standards suited to the unique aquaculture ecosystem of the Red Sea,” he said.

“Additionally, the two entities will work together to create a scientific regulatory framework for licensing and monitoring activities. Furthermore, the agreement seeks to enhance the local seafood market, boosting the consumption rates of locally produced items, and implementing innovative genetic techniques to improve camel breeding practices.”

Stephane Farouze, chairman and founder of Pure Salmon, said: “We are thrilled to announce strategic collaboration with Topian, to reshape the future of the aquaculture industry. This partnership underscores our shared commitment to innovation, sustainability, and food security — a commitment that resonates with the Saudi Vision 2030. We look forward to working with NEOM to drive positive change and deliver high-quality protein solutions in the Kingdom.”

Diego Illingworth, CEO of NAQUA, said: “We are very pleased with the MoU between Topian and NAQUA. This MoU represents a collaborative effort to explore new opportunities in aquaculture. Through this partnership, we aim to enhance our production methods and business strategies, focusing on efficiency and sustainability.”

Topian aims to drive sustainable aquaculture in the Kingdom by leveraging more robust and advanced technologies. A robust and dynamic aquaculture sector will support the enhancement of food security and self-sufficiency through sustainable production of fresh and healthy seafood in Saudi Arabia.

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