Why Isn’t Kelp Catching On?

Up to now 12 months and a half, Ms. Warner mentioned, Atlantic Sea Farms has been capable of scale up manufacturing of kelp to one million kilos from 30,000 kilos. “And so after I hear issues like, ‘Oh, the seaweed trade just isn’t rising,’ I’m like, ‘Oh, actually?” she mentioned. Among the firm’s high-profile partnerships embrace Each day Harvest and Sweetgreen.

Markos Scheer, 52, the C.E.O. of Seagrove Kelp Co., plans to develop his Alaska kelp farm “as quickly because the market will permit,” and at present has 700 acres of property within the utility section awaiting allowing, along with the 127 acres which are already totally operational.

“Everyone put the horse earlier than the cart,” mentioned Casey Emmett, 36, the C.E.O. of the Crop Challenge, an organization that buys seaweed from farmers after which dries and mills it in order that it may be used to make meals, fertilizer and biomaterials, like plastic.

This 12 months, he mentioned, the Crop Challenge, along with GreenWave, was capable of harvest 5,000 kilos of kelp in the course of the peak months of the pandemic, which they dried in a tobacco barn.

Earlier than the pandemic, Mr. Smith, of GreenWave, mentioned that the intention had been to course of the kelp in industrial kitchens. “We didn’t really feel comfy processing in shut quarters,” he mentioned. As a substitute, Mr. Smith discovered that Connecticut had nearly 100 empty tobacco barns: “I by no means let a disaster go to waste.”

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