Boosting sustainable shrimp farming in Sri Lanka


    Taprobane Seafoods is a leading seafood company in Sri Lanka, operating throughout the whole supply chain from early production at hatcheries to frozen and packed end-products for consumers thereby applying modern production, processing and logistics techniques. FMO signed a USD 15mln facility with Taprobane Seafoods to support the sustainable production of vannamei (whiteleg) shrimp. The funding was provided with support of the Dutch Government through Building Prospects and Dutch Fund for Climate and Development. The transaction will help to rehabilitate abandoned shrimp farms, establish renewed hatcheries, and setup eco-friendly processing factories which together provides a necessary boost to the local economy, supports the wider agri-value chain and aids both climate and food system stability. In addition to financial support FMO provided technical assistance to cooperate with the company in becoming ASC certified in the future.

    With a workforce made up largely of Sri Lanka’s war widows, TSF processes blue swimming crab and vannamei shrimp, which it began farming two years ago, becoming the first Sri Lankan company to do so.

    The funds will be used for capex investments that will further strengthen TSF’s value chain. The investments include rehabilitating abandoned shrimp farms owned by TSF and by third-party growers, investing in new farms, circular tanks and hatcheries, in a new processing facility and for other general capex investments.

     CEO Tim O’Reilly emphasized the rigorous process that was undergone for the investment proposal to be made.

    “It’s not so much about the money, but the quality of the lender,” he said.

    “They visited the country and carried out an extensive due diligence, not just on financials, but on social, sustainability and environmental performance. This backs up what we are saying about what we do.

    “While it’s a been a challenging time for Sri Lanka, it’s great to see FMO’s belief in our business model.”

    Established in 2010, TSF has one main processing facility and 14 mini-processing facilities, employing over 2,000 full-time employees, predominantly underprivileged women, including war widows, throughout the northern and northwestern provinces of Sri Lanka.

    The shrimp processed by TSF are supplied by its own farms and third-party growers. The crab are wild-caught and supplied by local fishermen. TSF exports seafood products globally under its own brand and for third parties.

    The proposed funds will bring FMO’s investment in the producer to $15 million (€15.5 million) to date.