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Alness seaweed snack firm plans major expansion with £1.7m support package from Highlands and Islands Enterprise and the Scottish Investment Bank

By Hector MacKenzie

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The firm has plans to expand further.
The firm has plans to expand further.

AN Easter Ross firm tapping the potential of seaweed snacks has expanded its product range and hopes with the support of a £1.7m finance package.

SHORE is the trading name of Alness-based seaweed processing company New Wave Foods Ltd.

At present it employs 15 people between the Easter Ross town, Wick and Glasgow and has ambitious growth plans to "create an edible seaweed industry of scale in Scotland that is one hundred per cent sustainable".

The finance package combines a business development grant from Highlands and Island Enterprise, equity investment from the Scottish Investment Bank and contributions from several private investors.

The investment has led to a new product roll-outvwith a new range of plant-based snacks and a revamping of its existing bagged range. SHORE is also poised to move into what is calls the ambient arena with its new Sea Kitchen range.

Keith Paterson, joint-managing director, said the firm's mission is to be completely sustainable, good for the coastal environment and beneficial for our local communities.

He said: “Our success is based on creating tasty plant-based seaweed snacks and foods that appeal to the growing number of mainstream health-conscious consumers who are increasingly seeking sustainably sourced foods. Securing this package with support from HIE and SIB is a major milestone for the company and will help propel our business to new heights.”

Rural economy secretary, Fergus Ewing, said: “Scotland is world-renowned for producing quality food and drink products and the Scottish Government is committed to working side-by-side with industry to unlock the potential of this sector.

“Supporting innovative companies like SHORE to grow and develop helps to secure new employment opportunities for rural communities. Over the coming months and years as the county begins to recover from the economic impact of the global coronavirus pandemic, it is important that we continue to invest in and support rural businesses.”

David Oxley, HIE director of business growth, said: “The Highlands and Islands has a natural advantage and well-earned reputation for producing high quality food and drink products from our outstanding natural environment. Seaweed processing presents a new and growing opportunity to expand on this.

“SHORE has the skills and experience to develop this new industry. We are delighted to be able to support the firm with this exciting venture, which is creating valuable jobs in some of our most rural communities.”

SHORE has expanded its product range.
SHORE has expanded its product range.

Kerry Sharp, director, Scottish Investment Bank, said: “SHORE’s management team have drawn on their entrepreneurial acumen to create a brand that showcases the natural benefits of sustainably-sourced Scottish produce. SHORE is well placed to further tap into the growing market for healthy plant-based snacks and we look forward to working with our partners at HIE to support the company through its next phase of growth.”

SHORE uses sustainably harvested seaweed, grown on the shores of Scotland, to manufacture plant-based snacks and foods. It launched its first range of snacks in late 2018 and has built up a network of more than 500 stockists already.

SHORE, which was founded in 2015, is primarily concerned with harvesting and wholesaling seaweed and producing a range of healthy and tasty snacks and foods with seaweed as the "hero" ingredient. The company is built around its seaweed harvesting operation, which is run from Wick.

It says its ethos revolves around the nature of sustainable harvesting that works in unison with the environment whilst providing support and employment for local rural communities. All SHORE products are designed to be vegan-friendly, gluten free and low calorie.

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