8th BioMarine International Business Convention
1-3 oct 2017, Rimouski Qc, Canada View Location

Apr 11

Interview Hervé Balusson Olmix Group CEO

Could you introduce Olmix Group?

Hervé Balusson : I founded Olmix Group in 1995, in France, in the heart of Brittany. My will was to develop natural alternatives to chemical additives used in agriculture.

Our first know-how was the sourcing of high quality raw materials (trace elements, specific clays, macro-algae). From these raw materials, the group’s Research and Development department has developed a wide range of natural products which can substitute synthesis additives.

Olmix has become today one of the world’s main specialists in “green chemistry” and is one of the pioneers of the “blue biotechnology”.

Olmix has 12 subsidiaries worldwide, is present in 60 countries and employs 250 people. Our Breton SME was able to reach a turnover of 53 million Euros in 15 years, of which 80% on sales exported. We are established in Asia (Vietnam, China, India…) where we achieved a 30% growth by year on average. ASEAN area represents an increasing share of the group’s turnover. The company is listed on the Paris Stock Exchange and has 7 production plants in Europe.

After 15 years of algae valorization, what are your observations?

Hervé Balusson : When I started to get interested in macro-algae, 15 years ago, people believed I was a marginal. However, the sea is unquestionably an amazing source of “blue biotechnology”. The number of algae species in the world is estimated at almost 1 million. At the outset of the new millennium, the study of algae is one of the most promising ways to provide answers to mankind issues such as environmental, food and energy challenges. Nature has already the answers to take up these challenges.

Renewable biomasses, algae are rich in proteins, carbohydrates, trace elements and especially in active principles often underestimated.

Algae reflect the company’s philosophy as sustainable solutions: thanks to algae, Olmix is able to provide natural, efficient and universal solutions. By “universal”, I mean that our products have the capacity to adapt to various types of production in different contexts.

Macro-algae high potential, combined with our mastery in sourcing and industrial processes, led us to technological breakthrough, to the development of numerous innovations and revolutionary products, particularly by the association of mineral and organic.

Our group has the advantage of being able to launch promptly its new technology at competitive prices on the market thanks to our well established international sales team. This territorial anchorage gives company open-mindedness and dynamism.

Aquaculture is today facing some challenges, what solutions do you provide?

Hervé Balusson : Increasing production, fish meal replacement, high quality products requirement (in compliance with standards and certifications), feed efficiency improvement, pathologies limitation, maintaining water quality… These are the challenges the aquaculture sector is facing today.

Olmix proposes solutions in line with the market concerns and provides a full range of products intended for aquaculture.

Fish meal replacement has for example generated a new problematic, previously unknown, the mycotoxins risk management, linked to recourse to plant origin commodities. MTX+ responds to this new demand by supplying an effective and reliable solution to control this risk.

The innovative nature of our products is intrinsically related to valuation of both nutritional and functional algae properties which ensure effectiveness and originality.

Solutions provided by Olmix are universal and meet the feedmillers and farmers needs and are besides the result of a privileged relationship based on our proximity with our different partners.

Is the future of Olmix linked to algae valorization?

Hervé Balusson : The group’s medium and long-term development is indeed predicated on the implementation of a complete sector for macro-algae valorization.

We are starting this year a large-scale project, the “Industrial Strategic Innovation” program from Oséo called “ULVANS”, gathering 5 companies (OLMIX, PRP, MELSPRING, AMADEITE, AGRIVAL) and 2 french academics partners (South Brittany University, National Centre of Scientific Research from Mulhouse).

The aim of this ULVANS project is to create a sea lettuce valorization sector, from the harvesting to the marketing of innovative products destined for the animal and vegetable nutrition and health markets.

Health through algae, a new challenge for Olmix?

Hervé Balusson : Our expertise in the knowledge and the mastering of active principles stemming from macro-algae opened up new fields of application. The group’s R&D teams focus today on the valorization of our innovations in the health sector.

The sea must be considered as an infinite reservoir of solutions, it contains the potential to solve major health issues.

«Health through algae» is the founding concept of the new Amadéite company which is developing breakthrough products dedicated to control Animals and Vegetables pathologies (immunostimulation, anti-infective agents, elicitation effect).

To learn more : http://www.olmix.com