Shrimp Farmers Worldwide Must Adopt Sustainable Practices—or Risk Falling Behind

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By Milthon Lujan

By Holger Rubel, Wendy Woods, David Perez, Shalini Unnikrishnan, Alexander Meyer zum Felde, Sophie Zielcke, Charlotte Lidy, and Carolin Lanfer
Farmed shrimp is among the fastest-growing food products in the world. Global production, which has more than tripled since 2000, is poised to grow 6% annually.

But producers must respond appropriately to the strong market forces that are reshaping the shrimp industry:

– Low-price competitors are flooding the market with cheap shrimp.

– The rapid growth of shrimp farming is putting natural resources at risk, and global retailers, importers, and consumers are demanding more sustainable production methods and traceable seafood.

– New regulations, such as those of the Seafood Import Monitoring Program in the US, are requiring importers to track shrimp from the point of harvest to the point of entry.

– Digital technologies are disrupting the market and driving the shift toward traceability, closed-loop systems, and indoor farming.

To better understand how these forces are affecting shrimp producers, BCG has analyzed four major shrimp-producing countries: Thailand, Vietnam, Indonesia, and India. Our analysis identified the current and near-term challenges facing the farmed-shrimp industry, and our resulting reports offer recommendations that shrimp producers and traders can follow to succeed financially, boost productivity and efficiency, and become leaders in sustainability.

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