A Riverstone fish farm has pivoted its business to creating a new fertiliser product and moved to accept cryptocurrency all within a few years.
River Stone Fish Farm communications and marketing manager Emil Isaac, a Riverstone local who helped fellow engineer Joseph Ayoub develop the business, said there were synergies between the Qoin cryptocurrency and the duo's fish farming business.
The farm, which was previously known for farming barramundi, created a "disruptive fertiliser" called Swift Grow three years ago and hasn't looked back.
"There's nothing like it. It's fertilising the soil, and rejuvenating it to an optimal state, and it works very quickly, it's certified organic, and increases the yield. Qoin is a similar platform: it's quick, it provides transparency, it provides control, it benefits everyone," Mr Isaac told the Gazette.
The team initially set out to make "the best tasting barramundi on earth".
"We wanted people to experience the way barramundi was before chemicals came on the scene, when you catch a wild barramundi, when the taste was healthy, chemical free and sensational," Mr Isaac said.
Mr Ayoub - a microbiologist and genetics engineer - reportedly quit his full time job to launch River Stone Fish Farm, and set it up using a circulatory water system which filters and oxygenates the water, making it more sustainable. He sought to remove all toxins - which were identified as coming from commercial fish food - from the protein of the fish.
He developed his own plant-based food for the fish and noticed their poo was having positive effects on his lawn when he used it as a fertiliser.
The resulting Swift Grow product contains living micro-organisms, rich in Lactobacillus bacteria, produced by the fish's metabolism, and the duo claim it can increase plant yield by up to 500 per cent based on controlled field trials.
It is marketed as being suitable for any plant, lawn, flower, tree and grain that grows in soil, as well as for hydroponics plants.
The team also claims Swift Grow boosts bees' immunity via flowering plant nectar that have been fertilised with Swift Grow to fight off pathogens that have decimated bee populations.
Mr Isaac said the team is now working with the Ministry of Food Security in the United Arab Emirates on a trial to establish food autonomy and security for the UAE, and is looking for a partner in Australia to work on similar trials.
"We also had a big export to the UK last month, and we're also exporting the product to France, and now we're in the process of exporting to Indonesia and Papua New Guinea," he said.
The company won the City of Parramatta Excellence in Innovation award at the Western Sydney Award for Business Excellence in 2020.