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4 July 2019

Next era for Advanced Nutrition division

Born from a spin-off of Ghent University in 1983, INVE – Benchmark Advanced Nutrition – recently celebrated 35 years’ service to global aquaculture.

Set up to pioneer the development of early life feeding including Artemia, an essential live feed that has driven the growth of marine shrimp and fish hatcheries around the world, today the company has achieved 24% market share in the global shrimp and marine fish hatchery nutrition segment and is present in more than 70 countries. The company also defined the standards for Artemia, which are still being used by the industry today.

Vision for the next 35 years

At a series of events held around the world to mark the milestone anniversary, leaders of the company mapped out their vision for the future, which will largely focus on developing holistic solutions for sustainably improving fry quality and using microbial management and other health solutions to overcome disease outbreaks.

CEO, Philippe Léger, commented:

“Innovation is how we started and, in this fast-growing industry, innovation in partnership with our customers is the way to keep driving sustainable growth in the industry, and to stay ahead of the competition”.

During the celebrations, Philippe Léger announced that he will hand over his role as Managing Director of Benchmark’s Advanced Nutrition and CEO of INVE Aquaculture to Athene Blakeman who joined Benchmark in 2014 as Group Legal Counsel.

After recently turning 65, Philippe decided to work part-time supporting the development and execution of Benchmark’s key strategic initiatives and this way continue to play an integral role in the future growth and development of Benchmark.

Philippe Léger:

“During my time as CEO I have had the privilege of working with truly talented, innovative and inspiring people across the global aquaculture industry.

“I am thrilled Athene is taking on my responsibilities as CEO. She is a highly intelligent, respected and ambitious leader. I have every confidence she will continue to build on our achievements throughout the next phase of growth and I look forward to working with her as I continue to lead the Benchmark Strategy Execution and Business Growth team supporting the Groups’ key strategic priorities and new business developments.”

Philippe has worked at INVE since it was established in 1983 after he signed up to do a PhD with Patrick Sorgeloos (known as the ‘Father of Artemia’) who set up a spin-off company from the University of Ghent. Since then, Philippe has been fundamental in the development, growth and impact of INVE’s products, people and services. He is recognised across the global aquaculture industry for his creative ability and industry leadership.

New era, new leader

Athene joined Benchmark in 2014 and has gained in-depth knowledge and insight across the group, being a member of Benchmark’s PLC and Operations Boards, as well as each of the divisional boards, including Advanced Nutrition.

Athene Blakeman:

“The success Philippe has experienced building INVE Aquaculture into the company it is today is testament to his dedication, drive and passion for aquaculture. I look forward to working closely with him and our teams across the business in the coming months to ensure the smoothest possible transition for our customers and partners”.