BioMar ceases all commercial activity in Russia

Aslak Berge

Stops both the purchase of feed ingredients and the sale of fish feed.

After the outbreak of the war in Ukraine, it has been somewhat unclear whether BioMar has delivered fish feed to Russia. When SalmonBusiness asked BioMar Norway’s marketing manager Frode Moxness about this earlier this week, he replied:

”No, BioMar Norway does not.”

It was a truth with modifications. For BioMar sells feed to Russia.

“Yes, we have sold feed to Russia from our EMEA division,” admits Katherine Bryar, global marketing director at BioMar Group, to SalmonBusiness.

Salmon feed?

Yes, salmon feed too…”

On Saturday afternoon, the news came that BioMar Group would cease all trade activities with Russia. The decision includes the sale of finished products, as well as the purchase of raw materials.

The decision applies to all BioMar businesses around the world. The ban is a big step for the company, since replacement of raw materials and loss of sales volume will have a significant impact.

“This has not been an easy decision, but as a company driven by our purposes and values, we must take a stand. We believe it is our responsibility to have a positive impact on the environment and human rights around the world. Therefore, we will not cooperate with Russia while violating Ukraine’s sovereignty and causing a humanitarian crisis,” explained CEO Carlos Diaz of BioMar Group.

The trading ban has been approved by the board, and the company will start the process of closing all activities from Saturday, assessing obligations and goods in transit in the supply chain from case to case.

“Unfortunately, our decision will have a significant impact on our customers in Russia, and it may affect our formulation costs in the future, but we had to draw a line in the sand. We do not hold the Russian people responsible, and we will do what we can to find solutions for our customers and employees. Despite the impact, we believe this is the right thing to do,” Carlos Diaz concluded.

All BioMar employees in Russia and Ukraine will be kept in work and supported by the BioMar organization, despite the fact that the business has ceased.

Feed supply
On Tuesday 1 March, SalmonBusiness’ sister site iLaks contacted all three leading fish feed companies, Skretting, Cargill and BioMar, to check which of them supply feed to the Russian fish farming companies.

Without feed, Russian salmon production will stop fairly quickly.

Skretting answered the question immediately:

“Skretting Norway delivers fish feed to salmon farmers in the Russian northern areas,” replied social contact Leif Skjæveland.

Cargill, wanted some time to think.

After several says with no proper response, iLaks wrote again to Cargill

Time to think
“It should be very easy to answer yes or no to a question about whether you sell feed to Russia. But since it takes so long, I understand of course that you sell feed to Russia. So then the follow-up question is: Do you understand that this can be controversial?”

The answer finally came on Friday evening, from Nicole Marlor, Director of Media Relations.

“I’m part of Cargill’s communications team. Thank you for your inquiry, and sorry for the late response from us. Here’s what we can share at the moment:

There are heartbreaking scenes that are unfolding in Ukraine. It is difficult to understand the challenges our employees, customers and their families in this region will experience in the days and weeks ahead. Our highest priority now is to ensure their safety and we have therefore closed some of our locations until we can be sure of safe operation.

Cargill provides support for humanitarian aid operations on the ground in Ukraine. This includes the primary needs of the people and emergency supplies of food, while the company and our employees support directly through our partners in the World Food Program, the Red Cross, Wold Central Kitchen and Save the Children.”


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