SAN SALVADOR, EL SALVADOR – Spring Genetics, a leading tilapia breeder based in Miami, is dedicated to the genetic improvement of Nile Tilapia, supporting the sustainable development of global aquaculture. Their tilapia strain is marketed under the Spring Tilapia® brand, which is highly recognized and appreciated by tilapia producers in the U.S. and Latin America. Their stock has been selected for 19 generations on key commercial traits such as fast growth, survivability, disease resistance, and fillet yield, and is the only tilapia strain with improved resistance to Streptococcus agalactiae and Streptococcus iniae in their genes.* Spring Genetics is part of Benchmark Holdings, a pioneering innovation company operating in the aquaculture, agriculture, advanced nutrition, and animal health sectors.
Acceso El Salvador, built by the Clinton Giustra Enterprise Partnership (CGEP), is a leading smallholder sourcing company in El Salvador, sourcing tilapia, other fish and seafood as well as fruits and vegetables from smallholder fishers and farmers. Acceso El Salvador sells these products to Super Selectos and other buyers, providing a one-stop shop tailored to buyers’ sourcing, quality, and traceability needs while facilitating long-term market linkages to improve smallholders’ incomes. The company employs a marine biologist and aquaculture technicians dedicated to the production of tilapia who work closely with its network of fish farmers to improve their production.
The partnership between Spring Genetics and Acceso El Salvador meets a growing need in El Salvador for high-quality fingerlings. Tilapia represents the majority of all aquaculture production in El Salvador, and the rapid growth in production is fueled by a continually increasing market demand. However, this accelerated increase has not occurred in a technologically advanced manner, and small and medium-scale producers suffer from various issues affecting productivity, including quality of fingerlings, production capacity, and diseases. Additionally, the current tilapia value chain is extremely fragmented with several levels of intermediation, uncertain food safety handling practices, a broken cold chain, and inflated prices where the producer earns less than twenty-five percent of the final product value.
Acceso El Salvador looks to solve these issues by working along the entire tilapia value chain from providing quality fish inputs – through its partnership with Guatemalan company ARECA which implements Best Aquaculture Practices – to increasing tilapia fillet sizes to ensuring the freshness and quality of fish delivered to supermarkets. Acceso El Salvador is also planning to soon build a new fish processing plant that will include a modern bio-secure fingerling hatchery and expand its tilapia processing capacity while serving to prevent tilapia escaping into rivers, lakes and the coastline and threatening natural marine habitats.
“We are thrilled to partner with Spring Genetics and serve as sole distributor of their unique tilapia fingerlings in El Salvador. We look forward to providing our fishers and clients with the highest quality tilapia fingerlings and tilapia for production and consumption,” said Andres Baiza, Acceso El Salvador’s general manager.
“We are excited to be bringing the most advanced tilapia breeding program to El Salvador through our exclusive distribution agreement with Acceso El Salvador. We are impressed with their operations, and they are well-positioned to serve the fingerling needs of the local market, said Hideyoshi Segovia-Uno, commercial and operation manager for Spring Genetics.
*Spring Genetics selectively breeds tilapia fingerlings for improved genetic outcomes. The fingerlings are not genetically modified.
About Spring Genetics:
Spring Genetics operates the most advanced family-based and genomics breeding program for Nile tilapia. The Spring Genetics stock successfully completed 19 generations of selection for key traits such as fast growth, survivability and yield, and more recently, advanced genomic selection for resistance to Streptococcus iniae and S. agalactiae. Spring Genetics distributes genetically improved, high performing materials to integrated companies and affiliated multiplication hatcheries throughout the Americas and Asia.
About Acceso El Salvador:
Acceso El Salvador (“Acceso”) is the leading smallholder sourcing company (agribusiness) in El Salvador, providing a one-stop shop tailored to buyers’ sourcing, quality, and traceability needs while improving the incomes of local farmers and fishers through improved agricultural productivity and sustainable market linkages. Acceso sells fish (primarily tilapia), seafood, and fruits and vegetables to Super Selectos, Subway, and various other restaurant chains and buyers throughout El Salvador. Acceso has worked with more than 1,000 farmers and fishers to date.
About the Clinton Giustra Enterprise Partnership (CGEP):
CGEP, an initiative of the Clinton Foundation, was co-founded by President Clinton and Frank Giustra in 2007 with support by Fundación Carlos Slim. CGEP is a social business builder that brings entrepreneurial solutions to global poverty. CGEP builds from scratch, invests start-up capital, and manages agribusinesses that work with smallholder farmers and fishers. CGEP improves the livelihoods of farmers and farming communities by improving agricultural productivity, creating job opportunities, and facilitating long-term market linkages. CGEP has impacted more than 13,000 farmers and farm workers directly, and more than 33,000 people including their families.