To take action and strive to perfect.
" The invention of the Madagascan aquaculture eco-model "
Aziz Ismail founds the UNIMA group
Aziz Ismail founded the UNIMA group in 1965. Originally from India, the Ismail family has lived on Big Island for three generations. The shrimp fishing adventure began in 1973 when Aziz Ismail – who had already successfully developed a textile business in Madagascar with his uncle and cousin – took over the Nosy Be Fisheries.
Dedicated visionaries, the Ismails have made environmental and biodiversity protection a core feature of their project. After carrying out a number of studies in the 1980s, Aziz Ismail and his son Amyne developed the Madagascan aquaculture eco-model. They created several hundred hectares of shrimp ponds, first in Mahajamba Bay and then in Besalampy.
In 1998, Amyne H. Ismail took over as UNIMA’s CEO and continued to transform aquaculture. Amyne Ismail began to integrate and control the entire production-distribution chain. This phase began with the creation of a broodstock domestication centre, a new larval rearing site, an IT subcontracting company and the total integration of international product distribution with subsidiaries in France, Spain and Portugal. This was followed by an aquaculture feed production plant and a cooking workshop near Boulogne sur Mer, in the Hauts de France.
Amyne Ismail has also committed UNIMA to an innovative ecological and social responsibility approach with the foundation and transformation of the village of Besakoa (education, healthcare, well-being, etc.), a tree planting programme and the preservation of local biodiversity. These commitments have been widely acclaimed by NGOs (WWF, BLUE VENTURES,…) who have been working in coordination with UNIMA for years.
In 2004, the French Ministry of Agriculture and Food awarded UNIMA’s shrimp “Label Rouge” certification. UNIMA was the first non-European agri-food company to obtain this prestigious label. The Group then started farming certified organic shrimp.
Today, the UNIMA Group remains world-renowned for its eco-responsible shrimp, which are naturally exceptional.
For the past 50 years, our mission has been to produce exceptional shrimp. Our process is continuously evolving in the best interests of our customers, employees, Madagascan communities and the environment.
What we stand for
Our goals are to cultivate and preserve nature, and to feed people in a healthy and sustainable way while generating wealth that is fairly shared with our employees and local communities.
Nature often imposes its own values. As nature strives to protect us, we must be passionate and determined to “evolve” together (the Madagascan motto “Antsika Jiaby Miara Mandroso”), in order to be exemplary and understand the importance of sharing.
When UNIMA progresses, Madagascar progresses too!
The best way to progress is to fulfil your commitments: UNIMA carried out its first tree planting campaign in 1998; its first carbon footprint assessment in 2007; built a first school (1994); built a medical clinic (1994); and built a mother and child centre (2021).
This complete commitment was developed from the outset on the basis of the complete integration of the production chain. This integration is conducive to creating eco-models and developing best practices to produce exceptional shrimp that are good for people and nature. A comprehensive and uncompromising commitment to the quality and traceability of our products. Our shrimp are selectively caught or farmed at low density. In an environment that resembles their natural habitat (the mangrove), the shrimp are fed without antibiotics, GMOs or processed animal proteins. All of their organoleptic and nutritional qualities are preserved thanks to our excellent cold chain control, from harvest to distribution, via our cooking workshop located in Boulogne-sur-Mer in France.
“ Exceptional shrimp that is good for people and for nature “
Cultivating and preserving the environment
The urgency for environmental action has become so pressing that the time for talking is now past. UNIMA has always understood that action, not talk, is paramount: tree planting (2.5 million trees), careful packaging selection and waste reduction, forest protection, complete mangrove protection… This only works with a long-standing commitment to ecosystem and biodiversity preservation and regeneration.
The village of Besakoa is one of those thriving, unique and rare places in the world that is firmly grounded in reality thanks to UNIMA’s determination: schools, high school, boarding school, clinic, dentistry, maternity care, gendarmerie, market, community hall…all in a peaceful urban environment. This is our daily commitment to improving the quality of life of Madagascan communities by promoting access to healthcare and education while respecting local regulations, practices and customs. These sincere and transparent commitments, in collaboration with NGOs (WWF & Blue ventures) and local associations, are implemented through the UN’s SDGs – Sustainable Development Goals – and regularly audited by an independent body.
Focus on our commitments
It is also a social position
The UNIMA Group is the leading producer and distributor of premium shrimp in Madagascar. Internationally renowned by gourmets and amateurs, our shrimp are the pride of Madagascar.
UNIMA meets the 17 SDGs
In September 2015, the UN’s 193 member states adopted the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. This is called Agenda 2030. It is an agenda for people, for the planet, for prosperity and for peace. It includes the 17 goals of the 2030 Agenda. For the successful fulfilment of a SDG, it is essential to consider its relationship with each of the other 16 SDGs. Each SDG is directly or indirectly impacted by the others.
We understand that these 17 objectives have a very different reading depending on whether they are interpreted by a country in the North or a country in the South. In Madagascar, major efforts are required to tackle the very real problems that are poverty, health care access, food security and education.