Summary of Sector Session SHARING & SOLVING CHALLENGES IN RUNNING COMMERCIALLY VIABLE SEAWEED FARMS
As a sector organisation, we support a healthy seaweed sector where seaweed farmers can have a profitable business that is integrated into an economically sustainable value chain. In mid-June, we received a message from Tango Seaweed, a Norwegian seaweed farm specialising in natural cultivation of sugar kelp and winged kelp, that they were in urgent need of financial support to keep their seaweed farm running.
As we have heard similar messages before, we have decided to organise a sector meeting (online) where fellow members and seaweed farmers, could share your challenges and experiences in this area.
Identify bottlenecks and next steps
The aim of this Sector Session was to identify the needs and bottlenecks for our members and share ideas on what steps are needed at this stage to overcome them.
- What are the bottlenecks seaweed farmers are facing?
- Have you overcome any of them yourself?
- Do you recognise Tango's struggles and are you experiencing similar ones?
- What does the sector need now and at what level should action be focused? Political, B2B, B2C?
- How can we create something to support each other across the seaweed value chain?
Conclusion of the session
After the welcome and introduction two perspectives on challenges were provided bij Algapelago and Seas the Opportunity. Both presentations were followed by an interactive discussion with participating members facilitated bij North Sea Farmers aiming to identify problems and focussing on finding possible solutions.
The main and most urgent challenges discussed were related to the cost-price of cultivated seaweed (i.e. in comparison to wild harvest); demand and supply (i.e. farms not large enough to reach economy of scale thus a price level that could meet market expectations) and lack of certain regulation and difficulty of getting licenses for new seaweed farms. All other conclusions and discussed solutions have been summarised in the Sector Session Report that's available to NSF members on the Knowledge Database (search terms: sector session challenges). Feedback on this Sector Session is very welcome and can be shared via this Feedback Form.
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