Europe is perfectly positioned to become a leader in the scale-up of seaweed production as it provides the right environmental, economic and political conditions to support investment.
Europe has plenty of cold, nutrient-rich waters. The UK, Ireland, Denmark and Norway all offer the right nutrients, light conditions, currents, and waves for seaweed farming, along with the Netherlands, Belgium, and France. In particular, Scotland’s lochs and Norway’s fjords offer ideal conditions. The Mediterranean also provides opportunities to farm other species.
Additionally, Europe is currently seeing an explosion in innovative ocean start-ups. There are 223 seaweed-focused start-ups currently, a number that has tripled in the last decade. Half of these are involved in food consumption, one-third are cosmetics, and one-fifth in animal feed. In 2020, 18 European investment deals raised a total of €21.6m.
Finally, there is very favourable political momentum due to the European Green Deal. Seaweed ticks all the boxes of this deal, from helping to meet carbon targets, to supplying clean energy and preserving and restoring ecosystems.