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Blueprint for a $billion Australian seaweed industry

AgriFutures Australia together with the Australian Seaweed Institute, developed a blueprint for the emerging seaweed industry in Australia. The industry has ambitions to create new coastal jobs, protect and regenerate waterways and contribute to greenhouse gas reduction.

“The current global market for seaweed products such as food, cosmetics, nutraceuticals, animal
feed and fertiliser is estimated at over US$11 billion and is expected to double in value by 2025,” said Jo Kelly, CEO of the Australian Seaweed Institute.

“Australia has ideal growing conditions and a huge export opportunity for high-value bioproducts from native Australian seaweeds. And while there are a handful of entrepreneurs and researchers
undertaking projects around Australia, there are no commercial scale seaweed ocean farms operating here and no strategic plan for industry development,” she added.

The Seaweed Industry Blueprint project is designed to unite existing seaweed research and aquaculture efforts into an action plan to accelerate investment and development. The project forms part of AgriFutures Australia’s Emerging Industries Program which is focused on
identifying and supporting the emergence of agricultural industries that can reach, or exceed, a $10 million per annum threshold in the next five years.

“The opportunity for an Australian seaweed industry is really significant from an economic, environmental and social impact lens. Just one of the native seaweeds found off the Australian coast, Asparagopsis, has been shown to reduce methane emissions from cattle to almost zero when added to their feed. This is significant because more than 66 per cent of all agricultural greenhouse gases in Australia come from the digestion process of cattle.

“This single use for seaweed is incredibly exciting, but as the research into bioproducts from native Australian seaweed species is virtually non-existent, the potential for this industry to
contribute to global health and nutrition while adding significant value to the Australian economy
cannot be overstated,” said Ms Kelly.

The initial objective of the blueprint is to outline the seaweed industry opportunity for Australia including a clear plan of action that will, at a minimum, deliver a $10 million industry by 2025. The second objective is to create an industry development blueprint with appropriate milestones to grow the industry to over $1 billion by 2040.

About the Australian Seaweed Institute
The Australian Seaweed Institute is spearheading industry development through collaboration with growers, researchers, businesses and government to create a model for sustainable ocean aquaculture and, in parallel, develop the market for the end products and research programs needed to position Australia as a global leader. With an initial launch into the food market,
The Australian Seaweed Institute’s product will be export ready and closely followed by seaweed products for use in nutraceuticals, bio plastics, animal feed and fertiliser.

australianseaweedinstitute.com.au/

About Jo Kelly
MBA, B.Env. Eng, Grad Cert. Innovation & Sustainability. Myer Innovation Fellow 2019 An impact entrepreneur with over 20 years’ experience in business, Jo is passionate about growing a new
regenerative, seaweed industry in Australia to support thriving oceans and communities.

She combines executive experience in strategy, sustainability, innovation, ethical finance and environmental engineering to drive forward sustainable industries of the future.