We buy all our organic raw materials ourselves. In order to be sure that the raw materials are genuinely organic, our quality manager Arthur Hartman visits the suppliers at least once a year. One of our raw materials is organic seaweed. Arthur travelled to Ireland during the past year to see for himself whether the seaweed is in compliance with all the regulations. After all, it’s good to trust people, but inspection remains necessary.
A total of around 220 people work at the seaweed farm, with the role of seaweed manager being a rather striking one. A seaweed manager decides where, when and how much seaweed is allowed to be harvested. Careful efforts are made to avoid chopping off the entire plant. Around 20 cm needs to remain on the rock to enable the plant to regenerate. It is also the case that harvesting is not done everywhere simultaneously. This rotation system ensures sustainable harvesting.
The type of seaweed harvested is called ‘Ascophyllum nodosum’. This grows in abundance on the west coast of Ireland, a sign that the water is particularly clean. When it comes in, the seaweed harvested is washed, cut, dried and passed through a very fine sieve. The seaweed is then checked and each batch is given a specific number. This number is extremely important for the entire monitoring system. After all, the number also features on the seaweed’s packaging, indicating when and where the seaweed was harvested. Thus ensuring we know what we bought and what we are including in our products.
Did you know that… 4,000 kg of ‘wet’ seaweed produces around 1,000 kg of dried seaweed?