Norges Vel wants to build a strong network for SMEs focusing on improved assurance of macroalgae quality from sea to consumer. The project ALGET 2 will contribute to a sustainable new industry based on wild harvested and cultivated seaweed for food, food ingredients and skin/ cosmetic products in the North Atlantic region.
“The countries in the North Atlantic region have few traditions of using macroalgae for consumption, while in other parts of the world such as Asia, macroalgae are part of people’s daily diet. We believe it is possible to develop several value chains in the North Atlantic area both to bring macroalgae to the national market and for export. With this in mind, we initiated the network- and quality-assurance projects ALGET and ALGET 2”, says Turi-Britt Heie Keupers, project manager in Norges Vel.
Project objectives for improved product quality
The Project objective is to achieve a strengthened network for SMEs focusing on improved quality assurance from sea to consumer – for wild harvested and cultivated seaweed for food, food ingredients and cosmetics.
The network shall establish common quality guidelines, documented best practices and experience exchange – contributing to further competitiveness for SMEs and products based on wild harvested and cultivated seaweed in the North Atlantic. Thus, avoiding the threat of low-quality products by some producers destroying the industry just being built up.
In this way, quality macroalgae-based local business development contributes to increased work places and stable jobs, and a sustainable local community development in the blue economy. This is fully in line with the policies and strategies for the blue sector, both for Norges Vel and all the participating SMEs and countries in the North Atlantic region.
Continuing valuable work from a former project
Norges Vel intends to continue the valuable work from both ALGET - Algae Entrepreneurs (2015-2018) and the first year of ALGET 2 (2019) - to make continued new knowledge available to SMEs by bringing science, governmental bodies and authorities, market players and competitors across national borders to the same “table”.
Our project ALGET – Algae Entrepreneurs was supported by Nordisk Atlantsamarbejde (NORA) with national contributions in various ways, making the network highly successful. Based on the good results, we established ALGET 2 in 2019 with further support from NORA.
Participants in the network
Three NORA-countries are partners in the project (Iceland, Faroe Islands and coastal Norway), while SMEs and resource persons from Greenland and other countries will be invited to the workshops to promote further activity in the development of common quality guidelines. Norges Vel is the project manager of the network which consists of the following players:
Faroe Islands: Tari-Faroe Seaweed (National coordinator and SME with new developments within farming / harvesting and some product developments of algae), Fiskaaling (R&D-institution), Faroe Marine Products (SME in product development/ trials) and Ocean Rainforest in relevant areas (SME, macroalgae farming/ harvesting and processing/ export).
Iceland: Matis (National coordinator, R&D and product development), TARAMAR (SME, scientific expertise in skin care products), UNA Skincare (SME, product developer), Islensk Blaskel (SME, mussels farming and macroalgae harvesting) and Hyndla (R&D and SME in cultivation of algae).
Norway: Alginor (SME, theoretical knowledge and practical experience on biorefinery using all the macroalgae), Naustet Umare (SME with local elaboration of macroalgae products), Tekslo Seafood AS (SME combining old traditions with new knowledge and technology), Lofoten Seaweed Company (SME harvesting wild macroalgae for food and skincare products) and Norges Vel (Initiator, SME-developer and project manager).