Fabrice Bohin: Algaia has high ambitions in the field of speciality marine ingredients and products extracted from natural algae. Today, texturising agents like carrageenans or alginates use only 20% of seaweed's biomass in production, and many other molecules are not properly valorised.
Meanwhile, seaweed-based compounds are proving to be efficient fat replacers, sound alternatives to animal-derived additives and useful supplements for plant, animal and human health.
Algaia is also very active in edible packaging films, so you can expect to see Algaia growing fast, organically and through acquisitions.
The main drivers are increasing consumer pressure for natural products with a healthy nutritional profile and the mainstream trend towards sustainability.
Regarding the latter, seaweed is a uniquely sustainable raw material that does not require any irrigation water, cultivation land, pesticides or fertilisers to grow. Its biomass grows rapidly and harvesting is well regulated in France and Chile, where seawater is very pure. If needed, there are many possibilities for seaweed to be grown completely naturally with no impact upon the planet.
Producing seaweed extracts requires tremendous expertise and manufacturing capabilities. The main challenges are to be able to produce high-quality algae extracts sustainably and in sufficient quantities. This is precisely where Algaia can make a difference.
The company combines decades of in-house expertise with the agility of a start-up and strong customer orientation. Most of its staff - whether in R&D, production, process engineering, quality/regulatory, technical service or commercial - have over a decade of experience.
Backed up by large private investors, Algaia has invested nearly €3 million this year in its French facility to enable it to grow even further, in a sustainable way.
Having an easy and strategic access to fresh seaweed is a key differentiating factor. Algaia's manufacturing facility is 20km from the largest brown-seaweed field in Europe. The company also has privileged access to high-quality Chilean red seaweed extracts through its strategic alliance with Gelymar. The R&D centre benefits from food, personal care and industrial pilot plant capabilities. Here, Algaia is developing extraction processes that will enable it to introduce new products for the agro-nutrition industry.
Its people, definitely. In the past few months, Algaia has considerably strengthened its organisation by recruiting experienced, driven and customer-focused people. Its unique R&D and application expertise, which ranges from traditional to speciality seaweed extracts, will enable Algaia to innovate beyond traditional boundaries. It already sells in every continent, with a dedicated customer back office that speaks more than eight languages fluently. No wonder Algaia has the wind in its sails.