Tareoppdrett: - Markedet er ennå ikke modent (Seaweed farming: - The market is not yet mature)
Seaweed Energy Solutions AS (SES) produces seaweed [kelp] on pilot scale in anticipation of market demand. Interest is increasing, and the main focus now is farming for use in food.
The company was established in 2006 with a vision of producing large scale kelp for use in food, feed, biochemicals, energy and other valuable products. With its five permanent employees, the company is located in Trøndelag and the pilot plant at Frøya is one of Europe's largest seaweed farms.
The CEO of SES, Jon Funderud, said to Kyst.no that they continue to produce pilot-scale tares of tens of thousands.
- The market is not yet mature, but we see that exciting things are happening in the market and we are optimistic for the future, he says.
The company is currently planning the 2019 production, and says that it will remain on pilot volumes in anticipation of the market going up. Funderud says that most people are more aware of the kelp now than before.
- We notice an increase in interest annually, especially in the last 2-3 years, more new players have emerged, adds Funderud.
He states that seaweed has enormous potential in many different markets, such as fish feed, biorefinery, fertilizer and energy. New to the company is that they have now turned more focus onto food than before.
- What we mostly believe in is food, which we think has a huge potential. Our goal is to get kelp [more popular as] an ingredient in the food industry.
Funderud believes that the volumes can grow in the future, but it is up to the food industry to learn how to use the raw material and to develop good products.
Kyst.no has recently written about Austevoll Seaweed Farm, which also focuses on the production of seaweed for use in the food industry.
The challenges in seaweed farming are many, and as it is a new industry, there are many details to be solved throughout the value chain.
- This requires high level of expertise in several areas - and not least a lot of patience. One must take it step by step, he emphasizes.
In addition, investment needs in this industry are greater than many are aware of, he expands.
The company has been focusing on further technical developments in harvesting, logistics and processing.
- We have tested some completely new solutions that will be important in the years to come, Funderud concludes.
Translated from the original article (in Norwegian): https://www.kyst.no/article/tareoppdrett-markedet-er-ennaa-ikke-modent/