Scottish Government funding of more than £600,000 is set to trigger the expansion of an innovative seaweed company.
Mara Seaweed will use the funding to increase its processing facility and explore new markets.
Seaweed is considered a sustainable high-nutrition food source with a host of health benefits that also has a positive impact on the atmosphere, taking up significant quantities of carbon dioxide every year.
The funding is being awarded through the £14 million Marine Fund Scotland and will allow Edinburgh-based Mara to expand its seaweed processing facility in Fife and increase its footprint in the global marketplace.
International demand for high-quality seaweed for use as a food source and health supplement is increasing and the funding will help Mara achieve its growth targets.
Announcing the funding, Rural Affairs Secretary, Mairi Gougeon said: “This funding will support Mara Seaweed in furthering their commitment of creating more innovative and exciting products.
“I am delighted these sustainably-sourced quality products are attracting the attention of consumers in the national and international market.
“Our support to the marine sector remains a priority and we are currently seeking a multi-year increase for the lost EU funding.
“With just over a week until COP26 this is another example of the innovative ways businesses in our valuable food and drink industry are adapting and playing an increasingly active role in addressing the challenges of climate change”
Fiona Houston, CEO at Mara Seaweed, said: “Sustainability is the bedrock of Mara Seaweed and seaweed production can play a huge role in helping the world reach its sustainable food systems and carbon reduction targets.
“Our involvement in events such as COP26 and Earthshot are exciting and significant to the seaweed industry. We are committed to spreading the message and opening people’s eyes to the sustainability benefits of seaweed production – it really is the future.
“We practice what we preach, and our aim is to be carbon negative within the next few years. This funding will play a significant role in helping us be more energy efficient and meeting that target, while creating jobs.
“The prominence of seaweed among well-known chefs, restaurants and in the media is leading to more people trying it, and the more people buy it, the more good we can do for the environment and people’s health.”