Hi Judy and Erin,
Thank you both for your feedback.
Judy, I really appreciate the article you sent me. It definitely offered me insight into what is happening in the seaweed world out west. My research so far has focused on developments here in the East coast, so it was quite illuminating. I really appreciated the piece on how one company is collaborating with coastal Aboriginal communities, and this opened my mind to so many other possibilities. I have begun looking into coastal communities here in the East coast. I am also just beginning to look into different farming practices, so I was glad to learn the names of a few prominent botanists in the field. In particular, I would like to connect with Louis Druehl as he has been studying kelp specifically for over 6 decades, and apparently offers farming consultation to businesses around the world. A great read indeed! 🙂
Erin, thank you for your recommendation in connecting with Alberta Innovates. I have not heard of them. My husband told me that IRAP (Industrial Research Assistance Program) as part of the National Research Council might be able to assist with further research , but I think it would be wise to involve provincial organizations as they likely have more influence over local stakeholders. Especially in Alberta, if I wanted to enter into that market (which I do!), then I would likely need as much evidence and support to back up this initiative. There is quite a bit of research and evidence out there in support of seaweed supplements. I still have quite a bit more to go through, but it is all pointing to that this is a solution to methane emissions, that if subsidized through government funding could have numerous positive impacts. For the farmers, who are the customers that need convincing, I see that there are several ways to incentivize them to participate. The first being that by providing them with the supplements, this ultimately lowers their production costs, and will therefore lower the cost of their products. This is also a win for the government as it lowers the cost of dairy and meat prices, which are increasing significantly due to inflation and transport issues. This is also a win for farmers in the industry who are being attacked for the emissions that their products create. It could change the entire image of the industry; especially if they can market their practices as net zero…the seaweed farms play a crucial role in this piece. Not only would they be participating in lowering emissions, but they would also be supporting the restoration of aquatic ecosystems.
I see government partnership as the key to giving this concept legs, as it would need to be trialed in several farms and data would need to be collected, before it could expand. There is already data out there, but I think the governments involvement and support in the project would provide the farmers with the reassurance they need to participate. I am not really in this to make money, I am in it for the immense impact it could have. I think it could be quite profitable, even with subsidization by the government, and has the potential for growth in other sectors such as fertilizer and food, or possibly even carbon credits in the private sector, which could subsidize costs.
Thanks again for your feedback.