Tianyun builds new brand Trout Fresh with Marel automation

Trout Fresh delivers a wide range of high-quality, portioned and sliced convenient products

Tianyun Builds New Brand Trout Fresh With Marel Automation

Marel’s automated solutions have allowed Chinese trout processor Tianyun to seize opportunities in a post-COVID market with new brand Trout Fresh

Xinjiang Tianyun Organic Agriculture Co., Ltd. is a leading fish producer, processor and retailer in China with an annual farming and pre-processing capacity of 6,000 tons. From ecological breeding and farming premium trout to processing and selling products in their restaurants, Xinjiang Tianyun’s business covers the entire value chain. Tianyun has invested in Marel equipment to automate some of their most integral processes in order to cater to the high market demand for portioned and sliced trout products effectively and efficiently. 

When the COVID-19 pandemic hurt traditional sales in 2020 but elevated online and offline operations, Xinjiang’s brand “Trout Fresh” seized the opportunity and launched a trout processing project that delivers a wide range of high-quality, convenient products to fulfill consumer demand. 

Tianyun employees weigh trout portions with Marel equipment

By automating processes such as slicing and portioning with Marel solutions, Trout Fresh is able to efficiently deliver high-quality products

Addressing labor insufficiency

The ambitious project required a new facility that was completed in just seven months. Most processers in the Chinese aquatic processing industry are small or medium-sized enterprises where manual processing is still predominant and capacity is low. When the facility planning began, Tianyun was determined to install advanced automated equipment to address the labor shortages they faced.

“It’s quite difficult to recruit workers in Xinjiang and even harder to retain them,” says Mr. Zhan Taorong, Deputy General Manager of Tianyun. “By implementing automatic processing equipment, we can solve the problems of labor insufficiency and lack of skills.” Three Marel machines were installed to create a diversified range of standardized products and reduce labor dependence—the Maja Skinner, I-Cut 130 PortionCutter and Multi-Angle Slicer I-Slice 135 MA. 

Tianyun operator loads trout into Marel I Slice 135

Market demand for high-quality sliced trout is easily fulfilled with the I-Slice 135 MA

Marel’s reputation speaks for itself

Once the decision to move towards automation was taken for the Trout Fresh project, Tianyun compared equipment and solutions from several suppliers around the world, and Marel was the clear choice. “Marel has a strong reputation in the industry by virtue of its proven technology, reliable equipment performance and low failure rates,” Mr. Zhan explained.

The cutting capabilities of Marel’s slicer for fixed weight or fixed thickness combined with the consistent presentation and the high quality of the end products is something that other suppliers in the market are unable to offer

Tian Gang, production manager at Tianyun

Tianyun employee loads trout into the Maja skinning machine

With machines such as the Maja Skinner, processing trout no longer depends on the expertise and focus of operators

A market destined to grow

The domestic trout market in China has been rapidly growing since the beginning of 2021 and the demands for trout products from restaurants and retailers have steadily increased. Since the second quarter, domestic sales of trout products have grown to the peak level before the pandemic. The rapid development of e-commerce channels further drives the sales of portioned and sliced products in small packages. 

“These portioned and sliced products are sold mainly through retail channels, especially the emerging online retail channels such as Hema Fresh and Meituan. Requirements for the products sold through these channels demand a high standard of quality, appearance and hygiene, and the weight of the products needs to be very accurate. It is difficult to recruit the highly skilled workers required for such precision portioning and slicing, and it is time-consuming to train them. The automation provided by Marel’s solutions mean that the high requirements from our customers can be easily satisfied”, Mr. Zhan says.

When it comes to the future development of the trout market in China, Mr. Zhan shows his confidence, “In the next few years, the domestic trout market is expected to continue to grow rapidly. Given the short transportation radius of fresh products, we are considering setting up new facilities to increase capacity. In the new facilities, we will work with Marel to a further and deeper level. “

Tianyun's Zhan Tarong stands with Tianyun trout products

Deputy General Manager of Tianyun Mr. Zhan Taorong looked to Marel to help solve the labor insufficiency they were facing and produce high-quality trout products

About Tianyun

Xinjiang Tianyun Organic Agriculture Co., Ltd. is a fish farming, processing and retail leader located in the trout production base in Nilka County, Ili, Xinjiang. The company began by selling whole fish and fillets when it was founded in 2014. Today, Tianyun processes fish and sells portioned, sliced, filleted and whole fish to retail, restaurants and hotels across China. The company has built a complete salmon and trout value chain covering research and development, fry breeding, intelligent farming, processing, cold chain logistics, marketing and food services.

Tianyun is a nationally accredited high-tech company, a specialized and innovative “little giant” in Xinjiang autonomous region, and one of the Food Basket Guarantee Enterprises recognized by the NDRC. Tianyun has been accredited with the Best Aquaculture Practices (BAP) Certification and HACCP certification.

The company breeds 8 million trout per year, with an annual capacity of 6,000 tons and more than ¥100 million in sales. As the new Trout Fresh project progresses, its capacity will increase to 10,000 tons within three years.

The company has created successful brands such as “Tianyun,” “Tianshan Salmon,” and “Tianshan Trout,” as well as the food brands “ZunGui” and “GuiLai.”

Trout Fresh sliced product

Trout Fresh proudly delivers high-quality sliced and portioned products

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