Colruyt Group ups stake in The Seaweed Company to 21 percent
Schiedam, the Netherlands-based The Seaweed Company has announced a recent successful funding round, including a major investment from the Colruyt Group.
Colruyt is a major food distributor in Belgium, France, and Luxembourg, with more than 600 of its own stores and a similar number of affiliated stores – in addition to some involvement in green energy and other sectors. According to The Seaweed Company, the group expanded its minority interest in the company to 21 percent.
In the four years since its founding, The Seaweed Company has established seaweed farms in Ireland, Morocco, India, and the Netherlands. Its seaweed is transformed into supplements and products which are marketed under the blue farming and blue health umbrella. According to a press release, the investment will enable the company to significantly scale up its farms and processing capability.
“Our products and concepts have already proven themselves and we are therefore ready to further scale up our company in all aspects and to further increase our execution power,” The Seaweed Company CEO Joost Wouters said. “Connecting our seaweed knowledge and expertise with the strengths of others, such as those of Colruyt Group, enables us to take major steps in the field of sustainable agriculture and food applications.”
Seaweed in its natural form provides proteins, sugars, fibers, vitamins, and minerals relevant to multiple food applications, and the company produces and sources different seaweed species for specific food concepts.
Its blue farming solutions, for example, include seaweed-based animal feed supplements for chickens, pigs, cows, pets, and horses, and an organic seaweed biostimulant to boost soils and crops.
Other products include high-nutrition foods; health and well-being products; pharmaceuticals; sustainable materials such as biodegradable plastics, textiles, papers, and concrete curing compounds for construction; and renewable energy, which is created by converting seaweed into bioenergy.
“These are concrete tangible solutions that fit in seamlessly with the ambition of the European Green Deal Farm-to-Fork strategy, to produce high-quality food with a low environmental impact,” Wouters said.
The company hopes to become known for achieving sustainable impact by creating half a million "blue farmers" in Europe, positively affecting more than one million hectares of regenerated farmland, contributing to climate goals by preventing and reducing CO2 through sequestration, restoring oceans through increased marine biodiversity, and providing jobs in coastal communities.
Colruyt Group Director of Fine Food, Retail Services, and Private Label Stefan Goethaert, who is also responsible for Colruyt Group's agricultural policy, said the two companies are a good match.
“We see a lot of potential in seaweed. As a group, we want to take responsibility to produce meat in a more environmentally friendly way, and making animal feed more sustainable plays an important role in this,” Goethaert said. “We are also constantly looking for ways to make our packaging more sustainable. We are investing in The Seaweed Company because we are convinced that they can provide sustainable solutions, thanks to their expertise in developing innovative products based on seaweed.”
Photo courtesy of The Seaweed Company