Your Harlow

MAGDALEN LAVER based wholesaler, Peregrine Livefoods has recently dabbled in the world of aquatics following the acquisition of specialist fish food brand, FishScience.

Peregrine Livefoods, the UK’s largest reptile wholesaler and FishScience, an innovative company that uses sustainable alternatives to fishmeal, completed the acquisition process on 18and from February.

After stocking the products for several years, the wholesaler seized the opportunity to acquire the business when Dr Pool announced his retirement.

Chris Jones, Managing Director of Peregrine Livefoods, said: “When David approached us, we jumped at the chance for two main reasons. First, we have the ambition to expand our portfolio and business reach beyond reptiles and into the aquatic sector. Second, the foundations of FishScience and Peregrine Livefoods are built on the use of insects in our foods. This synergy offers a myriad of opportunities in the future.

Peregrine Livefoods is an employee-owned trust, meaning the Harlow-based company’s 192 employees have a stake in the future success of the business. As one of the largest local employers, the company is committed to stimulating the growth of the local economy in a sustainable way.

“Although many reptiles have no reasonable food alternatives other than live insects, the aquatic market offers a range of possibilities. Many foods on the market use fishmeal, often derived from fish trawled at sea , which is incredibly damaging to the environment. We are excited about the possibility of using insects as an alternative source of protein and reducing our impact on the oceans and the planet. The nature of this activity means that we have no no need to ship this protein source around the world, as we all raise our own insects on our farm here in Essex.

Dr David Pool started FishScience in October 2013 when he saw the need to create a more sustainable fish food brand. The choice to use black soldier fly larvae (Hermetia illucens) instead of fishmeal ultimately created a product that was more environmentally friendly while being more palatable to fish. With a degree in zoology and post-graduate studies in freshwater fisheries biology, and armed with over 25 years of industry knowledge gained at Tetra, he formulated his first product.

Now, with over 70 products across the range, David looks forward to retirement and enjoying his passion for fish through his hobbies and working as a consultant at Peregrine Livefoods.

Dr. David Pool, founder of FishScience said: The use of insect meal in the formulation of FishScience foods, along with a focus on natural and sustainable ingredients, has been central to the brand’s success. When Peregrine Livefoods expressed interest in purchasing FishScience, it seemed natural to them. Their business focuses on insects and they recognize the many opportunities this ingredient offers. Add to that; Peregrine Livefoods is a young and dynamic company with the resources and expertise to take the FishScience brand to the next level.

“I always planned to retire at 60 and that milestone has just passed. I’m not someone who can sit around doing very little and I’m looking forward to spending more time on my hobbies fishing, walking, running and traveling.I have also taken up voluntary fisheries management work with a local fishing club and look forward to spending more time doing this.

With the new acquisition paving the way for Peregrine Livefoods to enter the aquatics business, the future of the exotic pet industry looks bright. With many herpetoculturists (those who breed reptiles and amphibians) now also raising fish in semi-aquatic enclosures called “paludariums”, the increase in in-house knowledge should benefit a wide range of businesses across the country.

Chris Jones added: “At Peregrine, we have a large team of experts who have a wealth of collective insect and reptile experience, but are very limited in aquatic specialist knowledge. David’s experience will be invaluable in helping Peregrine promote the brand and develop new products that will enable FishScience to become a market leading fish food brand.

Dr David Pool concluded: “Everything went very well. Peregrine Livefoods has been an easy and open company to work with. It is a young, innovative and dynamic company which I am sure will succeed and bring a lot of benefits to the aquatic market.

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