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Assessing the value of seaweed

A project to assess the potential markets for Pembrokeshire grown seaweed has been awarded funding by Arwain Sir Benfro.

Arwain Sir Benfro – the Local Action Group (LAG) for Pembrokeshire, administered by PLANED has provided funding of £14,999 to GreenSeas for a seaweed market assessment project. This is funded through the LEADER programme, which is part of the Welsh Government Rural Communities – Rural Development Programme 2014 – 2020, Funded by the European Agricultural Fund for Rural Development and the Welsh Government.

GreenSeas is competing to develop a niche in the US$6bn worldwide farmed seaweed industry currently dominated by global heavyweights, China and Japan. Demand for European farmed seaweed, which is increasing by 7-10% per annum, could lead to new jobs being created on seaweed farms and downstream processing for new applications of seaweed derivatives.

Although extensive funds and resources have been committed to seaweed related research throughout Europe, this has yet to translate into significant commercial activity. This presents an opportunity for Wales, and Pembrokeshire in particular, with its natural resources, infrastructure and commercial fishing heritage, to take a lead and become a forerunner in commercial management and production.

The starting point for GreenSeas is an initial high-level assessment of the markets and potential economic viability of the management, value adding raw product (for food service industry) and onward seaweed growth

Arwain Sir Benfro is currently supporting project ideas from local community groups, organisations and businesses. As the Local Action Group for Pembrokeshire, we bring together a mix of local community representatives, business, third sector, local authority partners.”

LEADER is supporting all kinds of activity: mentoring, training, feasibility studies or pilot projects that test an innovative new idea. It can also be used for projects that improve local skills, make better use of a local resource or realise the economic potential of part of the locality leading to a ‘new’ outcome or product.

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