March 25, 2023


Algae is a largely untapped resource that can be used to produce food, feed and medicines, among other products. Despite the many benefits of seaweed, the uptake of algae production and consumption in Europe has been slow.

At the EIT Future of Food conference in June 2022, Virginijus Sinkevičius, EU Commissioner for the Environment, Oceans and Fisheries and one of seven members of the European Green Deal Commissioner Panel, highlighted the EU’s interest in advancing the sector’s interests. Member States, by launching an initiative to improve cooperation between European algae farmers, producers, marketers and technology developers.

Market interest peaked in 2017, when the health benefits of spirulina (green algae powder added to drinks and shakes) were discovered and trended. Over the past few years, this interest has faded in favor of alternative protein products based on legumes or nuts, such as soy, almonds and chickpeas. However, algae and seaweed are slowly appearing in restaurant menus or as ingredients in cereal products such as pasta to increase their protein value.

according to latest report According to data released by Allied Market Research, the algal protein market is expected to reach US$1.51 billion by 2030, with a compound annual growth rate of 11.6% from 2022 to 2030.the site protein catalogan aggregator of alternative protein companies and startups, lists more than 100 companies worldwide currently developing algae and seaweed products.

In Europe, companies involved in the algal value chain, including macroalgae, microalgae and the cyanobacteria Spirulina employee At least 8,600 employees.One map Macroalgae production across the continent shows a clear dominance of algae farms in the UK, Norway and France, while some producers are even present in Austria, one of the few European countries without access to the sea. Just 10 years ago, a Dutch entrepreneur started his business on a cargo bike and cleverly marketed his product as “weed” thanks to the country’s well-known open-drug policy on weed consumption Hamburger.company Dutch Weed BurgersThe product is an algae-rich plant-based burger, and a decade later, its market has expanded into kid-friendly vegan fish fingers.

Seaweed remains a very scalable solution to the climate crisis because it can provide ecosystem services, such as absorbing excess nutrients, reducing the environmental footprint of aquaculture products. Seaweed farms can release carbon that may be buried in sediments or exported to the deep ocean, thus acting as carbon sinks. In addition, growing sea crops and seaweed farming in the ocean is becoming the fastest growing component of global food production as farmland remains limited.



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