Seafood leader Thai Union invests in Canadian biotech firm

Thai Union, one of the world’s largest tuna and seafood companies, announced that it has invested $7.8 million in Canadian biotechnology firm Mara Renewables Corporation, as Thai Union continues to pursue innovation in the seafood sector.

Thai Union rose to prominence by acquiring leading global seafood brands such as Chicken of the Sea and King Oscar. For most of its history, it was a traditional fishing industry company that concentrated on catching, processing and marketing fish. In the last several years, it has adopted wide-ranging methods to improve its sustainability and has begun investing in startups, research and development, and acquiring companies engaged in new technologies such as plant-based and alternative meats.

Mara Renewables manufactures sustainable nutrition ingredients such as algae-based oils that contain DHA-rich Omega-3 fatty acids, which are considered excellent for maintaining cardiovascular health. The company was formed in 2012 and focuses on nutritional supplements, food applications and children’s formulas.

Because Mara’s oils are plant-based, they offer a non-GMO vegan option for DHA-rich omega-3 fatty acids for human nutrition.

“Our strategic partnership with Mara further builds on this business by creating opportunities to jointly expand our product portfolios, grow our global presence, and accelerate go-to-market initiatives,” said Thiraphong Chansiri, President and CEO of Thai Union. “We are excited to partner with Mara and together provide nutritious and sustainably sourced DHA omega-3 fatty acids to consumers worldwide.”

Thai Union launched its ingredients business in 2018. The intention was part of its transformation from fish processing into natural ingredients for human nutrition.

The company also purchased a stake in Red Lobster, the popular American seafood restaurant chain in 2016, and increased its share in 2020.

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