One of the unique things about the ValgOrize project is the involvement of not only scientific institutes, but also business partners. Zeewaar represents this part of the project and brings its practical and field knowledge to the table (take a look at their presentation about how to build a business on seaweed).
In 2013 Zeewaar launched the first seaweed farm in the Netherlands, but because of the small scale of the local seaweed industry up until now, they needed to play a part in many other parts of the business chain as well, mainly primary and secondary processing and research. “We got to know the consumer and their wants and needs and began our mission of sustainably producing qualitative seaweed for food and ensuring there is a market for it.”
Within the ValgOrize project Zeewaar is working on Work Package 3 (together with ILVO); Acceptance of seaweeds and micro algae. Their practical experience in marketing, customer analysis and market research and their input from a business perspective definitely brings added value to this challenge. Specifically in this work package, first of all they will be focusing on stakeholder involvement. “Our main goal is to get food producers involved in this project at an early stage since they are the ones we are targeting to eventually get to business with seaweed food production.”
Furthermore, Zeewaar is in charge of determining a set of seaweed products for testing that are in line with B2B market demand. Until now it was hard to analyse this demand as there was a lack of professional and qualified/quantified taste coding and mapping. Zeewaar is also partner for many of the other WP3 deliverables and outputs such as the training of a pilot taste panel.