All About Catfish

by Thomas Jensen
All about catfish conference

Farmers from across Europe learn and network

This article was feature in Eurofish Magazine 6 2022.

Alltech Coppens hosted the All About Catfish conference, where experts from around the world shared their views on the fast-growing catfish farming industry.


CEO of Alltech Coppens, Ronald Faber, opened the conference with a vibrant introductory speech, leading the way for an exciting line-up of speakers who addressed the importance of today’s aquaculture catfish industry. They were warmly welcomed by John ­Sweetman, International Project Manager for Alltech Aqua, and the chairman of the conference.
The conference featured the following external speakers and presentations:
• Bert-Jan Roosendaal, Managing Director of Aquacultuur ID — Aquaculture Technology & Equipment
• Esther Luiten, Commercial Director of Aquaculture Stewardship Council (ASC) — Importance of Certified Fish
• Frank Foolen, General ­Manager of Topaal – Claresse ­Visverwerking — Insights of the Market
• Dr. Dénes GÄL, Co-founder, head of Geofish — African Catfish Story in Hungary
• Marten Opperman, Managing Director of Euro Fine Fish — Value Chain of Catfish

Some representatives from Alltech Coppens also spoke on specialist topics:
• Gijs Rutjes, Technical Sales Support Manager — Optimize Your Farm Performance
• Guido Crolla, Manager Procurement — Raw Material Trends
• Ben Lamberigts, Manager Quality, Research and Nutrition — Future Innovation of Sustainable Fish Feed
• Danieke Ewalts, Head of Marketing & Communications — Why Product Image Matters

As well as participating in talks, attendees were able to tour the facilities of the Alltech Coppens Aqua Centre (ACAC). This ACAC is the research and development building in which feed trials are conducted to investigate different ingredients to formulate the right combinations to efficiently meet nutritional requirements. The day ended with a networking event and BBQ dinner at the ACAC. More than 40 people attended the conference, representing 80% of the catfish RAS farmers in Europe. This event focused strongly on sharing ideas and making connections among peers.

This event was also the platform for the announcement of a new book, Inside/Out, a 150-page essential guide to understanding the function and structure of the skin, gills and guts of fish. Authored by John Sweetman and Gijs Rutjes, it is available to order at The conference was held in a sustainable hotel in beautiful Heeze, the Netherlands. The hotel is known for its Golden Green Key quality mark, the international certificate for sustainable companies in recreation, leisure, and business markets.

Overall, this networking conference was an enlightening experience for the catfish sector, ­encouraging representatives to find ways to work together in this sustainable aquaculture niche.
More on Alltech Coppens: or ­catfish feed:

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