Bio4safe – important steps towards offshore seaweed cultivation

2020-11-25

As you might have heard during our online Community Event last month, we have been working in the Interreg project Bio4safe with the aim of using seaweed biostimulants to reduce water and fertilizer inputs in 2-Seas Region agri- and horticulture. Biostimulants are non-biocidal products that, when applied to crops, elicit responses that make them more resilient to abiotic stresses such as drought and nutrient deficiencies. This can help farmers cope with changing climate conditions and increasing restrictions in the list of products they are allowed to use. Additionally, the political climate is highly supportive of these developments, which fit perfectly into the circular economy and EU Green Deal initiatives.

An important project milestone was reached when we produced our own seaweed biostimulant with locally cultivated seaweed for which we brought multiple value chain players and members of our seaweed platform community together. The resulting biostimulant was both analysed and tested in the Bio4safe 2020 trials for the first time! This year’s results have shown to be very promising and these results will be further confirmed in the upcoming 2021 trials at various testing facilities in the 2-Seas Region. 

With seaweeds making up at least a third of the biostimulant market and with an impressive annual market growth of more than 11%, the demand for high quality and affordable seaweed for the production of biostimulants is imminent! This is why we have set up an extensive business case for an offshore seaweed farm of 160ha that is settled within a Dutch wind farm. This will produce on average 1,000 tonnes of seaweed annually, over a 25 year lifespan. This business case has been developed together with our community members as well as the financial advisory firm Green Giraffe and various other players in the seaweed biostimulant value chain and we are now taking the necessary steps towards implementation of this plan. 

We are now in contact with potential seaweed producers, processors and buyers in an effort to bring about the necessary commitment and collaboration in the shape of a consortium.
Are you interested to learn more about how this business case can benefit you or what you can do to help us make this a reality, you can contact us at frederik@northseafarmers.org