Santa Priscilla became a pioneer in Ecuador when it established protocols for the use of probiotics and the elimination of antibiotics in production. Even at a time when some biologists argued that it was impossible to produce without them, Santa Priscilla showed compromise and resilience to eradicate their use. It became an example to its sector and, eventually, to the world.
Maria Jose Narvaez
Lucia Estrada Salem
Maria de los Angeles Ortega
Universidad de Navarra
Isabel Rodriguez Tejedo
The innovation is established protocols for the use of probiotics and eradication of antibiotics, as well as for the classification and recycling of waste and for the care and treatment of water. Shrimp and tilapia farming in Santa Priscila occurs in total harmony with nature, replicating, and sometimes improving, sea conditions on land. As Claudia said: "the company´s integrated planting and harvesting management is 100% natural, without antibiotics or hormones and free of toxic chemicals".
Their processes are designed with rigorous efficiency protocols based on reduction and in cases eradication of the use of non-renewable and/or polluting resources. They avoid the degradation of terrestrial soils and the marine ecosystem, by cultivating highly nutritious products, free of antibiotics, hormones, and toxic chemicals, which are a healthy eating option and promote conscious and positive habits of behavior and consumption.
This innovation is an example that, as Claudia mentions, "instead of seeking the destruction of pathogens in the environment, businesses can select and generate better conditions of efficiency and survival without affecting the natural state of the environment".
This innovation started in 1998, with the presence of the white spot virus in Ecuador and with the leadership of Santiago Salem, Santa Priscilla´s founder. Instead of abandoning the activity in the face of difficulties and losses, they sought a better solution. Initially, they introduced this new method of production in a semi-artisanal way, inoculating thousands of tons of probiotics to their production areas.
As Claudia said in the interview: “We wanted to promote conscious and positive habits of behavior, consumption, and production, to lead a worldwide change”. The innovation relates to its own mission; it wanted to lead a change in its sector. It aspired to be an example of a successful business operating with a careful selection and generation of better conditions of efficiency and survival. It wanted to show that, in production, the natural state of the environment can be left unaffected, and that seeking the destruction of pathogens in the environment is not a sustainable, neither crucial, business practice.
The overall impact, for the business itself, was a clear success. Not only did it enhance productivity, but also the company's image and reputation, and its sales and revenues. They became the first aquaculture company with Green Point Environmental Certification and were also endorsed with International Environmental Certifications granted by WWF, such as ASC (Aquaculture Stewardship Council), BAP (Best Aquaculture Practices), and the Organic Whole Foods Market standard. This innovation also led to the introduction of other sustainable practices such as the reduction of diesel USED in production.
The impact on society was also recognized and appreciated. Since Santa Priscilla established this innovation, the whole country, Ecuador, started using it as well: enhancing productivity, creating more jobs, and inspiring other businesses, not only in its sector, to take care of the environment. They became a world example that production can take place without affecting the environment. Today, Ecuador is the only country in the world that uses that kind of sustainable business production method.
This new activity resulted in even more innovations from Santa Priscila, such as the creation of the water Re-Circulation system, a protocol that is used today by many companies in the sector. Another consequence was that Santa Priscilla became a pioneer in Ecuador in the reuse of industrial by-products such as shrimp heads and tilapia viscera for the production of flours and oils and obtaining scales and skins, fish that previously became an environmental problem, as they were part of the industry's garbage and were taken to municipal garbage dumps. Today, these wastes are processed in the company's own plant and are used proactively in medical and food production industries in Ecuador and abroad, thus allowing the reduction of the dependence of the global food industry on the catch of pelagics in the ocean.
Also, the knowledge and technical management of Industrial Pesquera Santa Priscila is recognized and valued worldwide. Its products are sought after in the most appreciated kitchens at the national, continental, Asian, and European levels and tell the story of its transparent and constant commitment to the development, sovereignty, security, and evolution of food in Ecuador and the world.
As Claudia shared; through the success of their disruptive and innovative operations, Santa Priscilla is now able to employ more than 10,000 Ecuadorian families directly, in a dignified and stable manner, ensuring their well-being and satisfaction with well-paid jobs. The company complies with current legislation on occupational health and safety and offer the opportunity for professional growth especially to young people and women who, through training, develop skills and competencies that allow them to enter the labor market, contributing to the reduction of the unemployment rate in Ecuador, and maintaining this labor commitment even during market difficulties, and the adverse circumstances of COVID19.
Promoting conscious production and consumption habits not only in our swimming pools but also in all aspects of our production chain, since in addition to these programs, Santa Priscila maintains and safeguards the care of 1,400 hectares of mangroves and more than 120 hectares of protected forest, which guarantees carbon sequestration and mitigation of the effects of climate change, not only in our swimming pools but in the territory and our entire production chain on farms.
Claudia Salem Barakat, Sustainability Manager
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Business Website: http://www.santapriscila.com/es/home.html
Year Founded: 1976
Number of Employees: 501 to 1000
Santa Priscila S.A. is a fishing industry based in Guayaquil, Ecuador that produces and exports shrimp (more than 3,900 containers per year) to China, Europe, the United States, Latin America, and Asia. It was founded in 1976 under a production-without-destruction-through-sustainability philosophy. Santa Priscila is unique in the world for its production of 100% natural tilapia and shrimp, free of hormones, antibiotics, and toxic chemicals, showing that, instead of seeking the destruction of pathogens in the environment, the selection and generation of better conditions for efficiency and survival without affecting the natural state of the environment is possible, viable and profitable.
They produce more than 77 million kilograms of shrimp on their own farms (pools). They also have 6 laboratories for larval production, a balanced feed plant, and 2 processing plants. This in turn allows them to function in an organized way and to not depend on the production of third parties. The quality of their products is assured by their BRC certification and their compliances to the international standards established by the FDA under the control and instructions of the HACCP plan.