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Maritime Forum

Discover what's behind Working Group 4: Algae for feed

The EU4Algae working groups are in full swing! Close to 700 European stakeholders are discussing, debating, connecting and working together on the most pressing challenges for the algae sector. In the upcoming weeks, discover every working group and...

If you're interested in joining EU4Algae and contributing to the Working Groups, click here for more information.

Efthalia Arvaniti, the facilitator of the working group focused on algae for feed, tells us more about the working group's short and long-term goals.

Firstly. What is the working group about?

This working group, algae for feed, is about supporting the algae industry to access feed markets, mapping innovation barriers, and promoting the benefits and opportunities in the algae business.


Why is this important for the algae sector in Europe?

In Europe, we import more than half of the animal feed proteins from overseas - 27 million tons of soybean alone. However, we have both the knowledge and the resources to produce feeds locally. To close the supply and demand gap of algae-based animal feeds, we must produce algae at a larger scale and more cost-effectively. Algae are diverse, with varying protein content up to 70%; they are nutritious and rich in vitamins and antioxidants. Circular algae products are compatible with the feed markets, with excellent prospects to scale up.

This working group aims to identify the current innovation and market access barriers (regulatory, market, technical) and to recommend solutions for removing them. The working group also promotes the benefits of algae in the feed sectors for both existing and new markets.

What are you hoping to achieve in these upcoming years?

We are working on an online tool to promote and disseminate knowledge on algae-based feeds. This tool can help algae producers and professionals in the sector access information on innovation and access to the market. 

Also, we aim to accelerate the market access of new and old product categories. In this sense, we want to develop licensing roadmaps at scale for product categories, identify limitations and gaps, and make recommendations to boost innovation and market access. In the long run, we aim to promote algae feed products and their benefits, thus supporting the market's growth.

If you had any advice to give someone entering the algae sector (in any capacity), what would it be?

Talk to your clients, your allies and your competitors. The market is still quite small and under development, though it has a huge potential to grow. There are vast opportunities to develop and market scalable feed products. I advise growing your business by sharing knowledge and learning from each other, so we can go faster and further together.

About EU4Algae

Algae have been produced and consumed throughout the world for centuries. Especially appreciated in Asian cuisine, they are recently becoming a common ingredient in Western vegan dishes. Outside the culinary realm, algae have become a go-to feedstock for sustainable industrial applications such as biodegradable plastics. Moreover, their production helps improve ocean health by reducing carbon dioxide, phosphorus and nitrogen in marine ecosystems. They are also a nursery and hide-out for many marine animals, stimulating underwater biodiversity.

Despite all the above, the uptake of algae production and consumption in Europe is slow. In comes the EU4Algae Forum! Together with all relevant stakeholders within the European algae sector, we aim to scale up a regenerative, resilient, fair and climate-friendly algae industry and bring more novel algae species to the market.

The platform is a unique space for collaboration among European algae stakeholders, including algae farmers, producers, sellers, consumers, technology developers, business-support organizations, investors, public authorities, academia, researchers and NGOs. It also acts as a single information hub on algae funding calls, projects, business-related information, intelligence and best practices.