Thai Union invests CAD 10 million in Canadian microalgae producer
Thai Union has invested CAD 10 million (USD 7.8 million, EUR 7.4 million) in Canadian microalgae producer Mara Renewables Corporation.
Thai Union’s investment is part of Mara Renewables’ latest funding round, which brought in CAD 39.5 million (USD 30.8 million, EUR 29.3 million) for the company to use to “accelerate the expansion of Mara’s proven portfolio of micro-algal products and unique innovation," it said.
Following the investment, one representative from Thai Union will be appointed to sit on Mara Renewables board of directors, the company said in press release issued 18 May.
Dartmouth, Nova Scotia, Canada-based Mara Renewables is a producer of sustainable algae-based bioproducts. Its plant-based oil contains DHA-rich omega-3 fatty acids for human consumption, with the company having achieved approved uses for infant nutrition, supplements, and in the food and beverage sector.
Thai Union’s ingredients business was created in 2018 as the company began seeking greater efficiences for converting its byproducts from its fish-processing operations into natural ingredients for use in human nutrition. Currently, one of its biggest ingredient products is tuna oil, which is processed from raw tuna heads and contains DHA omega-3 fatty acid.
Thai Union said the investment will enable it and Mara to accelerate their cooperation in market expansion, research and development, and operations to meet rising demand for omega-3 products. Mara has a plan to refine its crude algal oil at Thai Union’s refinery in Rostock, Germany, while Thai Union’s omega-3 lab in Samut Sakhon, Thailand, has begun using Mara's crude algal oil in research trials.
“As an industry leader in innovation and sustainability, we are committed to our ingredients business, which valorizes our co-products into natural and nutritional ingredients such as DHA-rich tuna oil,” Thai Union President and CEO Thiraphong Chansiri said. “Our strategic partnership with Mara further builds on this business by creating opportunities to jointly expand our product portfolios, grow our global presence, and accelerate go-to-market initiatives. We’re excited to partner with Mara and together provide nutritious and sustainably sourced DHA omega-3 fatty acids to consumers worldwide.”
Photo courtesy of Mara Renewables