Organic Pacific oyster producer Angel Seafood (ASX: AS1) has secured funding from the South Australian government under a program to help grow its export capability and capacity.
The state government’s Global Expansion Program is a four-year funding initiative targeting local businesses with solid growth and potential to diversify or boost their presence in new or existing export markets.
Angel chief executive officer and founder Zac Halman thanked the government for recognising the company’s potential as one of 20 SA businesses selected to benefit from an initial $1 million in funding.
“Export of our premium organic oysters into emerging high value markets such as South East Asia and the Middle East is a significant part of our three-pillar growth strategy to increase scale and profitability,” he said.
“The funding and assistance from the state government will help Angel to obtain professional services to gain insights into new and existing markets, and to establish new partnerships that will accelerate our efforts to increase exports.”
“We are very excited to be part of this program and look forward to achieving further traction in new high value export markets,” he added.
Three-pillar growth strategy
Based in Coffin Bay on the Eyre Peninsula, Angel Seafood is the largest producer of certified organic and sustainable Pacific oysters in the Southern Hemisphere.
It currently produces 12 million oysters a year although it is executing a three-pillar growth strategy to boost its annual capacity to 20 million oysters and improve profitability.
The first pillar of the strategy involves acquiring additional water leases to farm more oysters. The company added a further 6.25 hectares to its asset portfolio last November and has 44 hectares of undeveloped leases providing optionality for further growth within the Eyre Peninsula.
The second pillar focuses on increasing productivity through innovation. Angel has begun flip-farming trials in Coffin Bay and its ‘summer oysters’ trial is expected to extend the company’s sales period from 10 months to the entire year to achieve an anticipated 10-15% increase in annual sales.
The third and final pillar centres of building the Angel brand. The company said retail is a key domestic market opportunity, although premium export remains a significant prospect as global supply chains recover.
In June, Angel also launched a direct-to-consumer offering known as ‘Halo Club’, in which its shareholders and a select group of customers across the metro areas of Melbourne, Sydney and Adelaide are delivered oysters and complimentary condiments or gifts on a monthly subscription.
The first round of Global Expansion Program participants was announced by SA trade and investment minister Stephen Patterson during his visit to Port Lincoln as part of Showcase SA’s Business Accelerator series.
Other funding recipients included Port Lincoln seafood business Dinkto Tuna Farmers and mussel farmer Eyre Peninsula Seafoods.
The state government has called for expressions of interest for the second round, which opened this week and closes on 23 August. Up to 10 businesses are expected to receive funding from this round in early 2022.