Seaweed start-up investing in major factory and operations improvement project

By William Dodds

- Last updated on GMT

Seaweed Enterprises was founded by new chief executive Pete Higgins. Credit: Mike Wilkinson
Seaweed Enterprises was founded by new chief executive Pete Higgins. Credit: Mike Wilkinson

Related tags Business Food processing

Newly founded Seaweed Enterprises has announced its entry into the market by unveiling plans to invest in scaling up its factory and operations.

Based in Fife, Scotland, the start-up has been built from the ashes of Mara Seaweed, which went into administration in June.

Established by new chief executive Pete Higgins, alongside members of the Mara Seaweed leadership team Arnie Sathiy and Clare Dean, Seaweed Enterprises is aiming to develop a primary processing facility that will enable it to supply the global market for seaweed.

Seaweed has nutritional, cosmetic and pharmaceutical applications, while it can be utilised in agriculture as a fertiliser and foodstuff.

The start-up purchased the assets of Mara Seaweed shortly after it went into administration, saving seven jobs in the Fife area in the process.

Since then, Seaweed Enterprises has secured private investment to support the roll out of its plans, which involve the expansion and improvement of its factory in Glenrothes, Fife. The manufacturer has the stated plan to become the UK’s leading harvesting and processing hub for seaweed.

Seaweed market has untapped ‘potential’

Higgins described seaweed as an “extraordinarily beneficial natural resource​” that is yet to realise its potential despite being in abundant supply.

Working in partnership with Scottish seaweed farmers, as well as the large volume from our licence to wild harvest granted by the Crown Estate, we are proud to be developing innovative products to the highest standard​,” Higgins added.

Our state-of-the-art facility will offer not only volume much needed by many customers, but importantly the versatility and refinement for higher value items​.”

According to Polaris market research, the seaweed market is set to grow by $7.8bn (£6.1bn) outside of the Far East by 2030.

Mara Seaweed joint administrator Callum Carmichael, partner at FRP Advisory, added: "The sale is a great result for everyone involved with Mara Seaweed in particular the staff, suppliers and extensive customer base.

"It is particularly rewarding that seven jobs have been saved and the future of an innovative food processing business has been secured. We are extremely grateful for the support we received during the administration and wish the new owners every success with their acquisition​."

In other news, whisky distiller Whyte & Mackay has partnered with Carbon Capture Scotland as part of its £120m project​.

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