Farmed shrimp never had a tradition, it has grown into a traded commodity good based on a luxury food.
Lowest prices tends to be an outcome of commodity status and, like with all commodities, economies of scale and thus vertical integration are paramount to getting best efficiencies. Vertical integration leads to stability in supply and the ability to be flexible in supply and demand. It also allows for transfer pricing if necessary to weather most storms.
Best farming practices are not sacrificed – who wants production yields and returns suffering….
Greater risk of disease does not equate to high antibiotic use in shrimp farming industry.
Antibiotics are sometimes used by smaller players and by feed companies to up their survival results on their feed. This has always been more of an India/SE Asia approach rather than from Latin America. Smaller Indian/SE Asia farmers sell on to intermediaries who mix up products in markets from many suppliers and then sell on. Of course traceability is harder as shrimp themselves are not tagged. In Ecuador, with its large plantation style farms and ponds, a structured system and supply chain is the ideal stage for the IBM FoodTrust.
Next stage will be green lane entry into US and (re)insurance companies getting involved. This transparency will allow for investment openings –
All in all while IBM FoodTrust can give a supply chain linkages to a standard it does not necessarily add any value to that which an Ecuadorian exporter should already be held accountable for. It may open more doors and give US markets a peace of mind. Most retailers or foodservice have dues diligence on supply and tend to have done the important trust development in their supply chain.
Which is why shrimp recalls and notices out of Ecuador have been minimal over past decades.
Wondering what China may think about this technology and if they don’t want an own market one.