Manufacturers or algae farmers, R&D managers or entrepreneurs, agri-food or aquaculture professionals … why did they join Sensalg’?
“For the French to consume more seaweed, it must reach their plates. The Sensalg’ program “contributes to this dynamic,” explains André Berthou, seaweed harvester. For those who see themselves as a sea farmer, joining the Sensalg program was a matter of course. André already knew Hélène Marfaing, one of the Sensalg ’experts, and wished to take part in a project that can help build the algae sector which he has been supporting for several years. André explains “But in respect of the natural resources, it is important consider hand harvesting and seaweed farming management rules”.
Another crucial point that drives Sensalg’ members, is the fact that they are convinced that algae can still provide value in terms of nutrition, but also of taste. Although algae are conventional food in Asia, Europe on the other hand has still to imagine how to combine algae with the European gastronomic heritage. From the local cook to the R&D manager of an agro-industrial company, many feel the potential of dulce, royal kombu and other wakame. “I am convinced that algae represent a resource which we can still learn about” confirms Jean-Baptiste Wallaert, president of the “Chambre Syndicale” of algae and marine plants (CSAVM)
To rely on the knowledge of algae experts to innovate in the agro-industry, Philippe Chancerel definitely knows that! Philippe was already involved in the first phase of the Sensalg’ project, led by the Breton technical centres of ACT Food Bretagne. Philippe is now scientific director within the Jean Hénaff group and GlobeXplore certifies: “As a company based in Finistère, pioneer in algae-based food and seaweed-based specialties, to integrate the Sensalg ‘project was an obvious step.”
But wouldn’t there be constraints for new companies to join current members who are also competitors? For Jean-Yves Thébaudin, director of ACT food Bretagne, considering the structure which is hosting the Sensalg ‘project, this question is irrelevant: “Private companies recognise the technical centres involved in the Sensalg’ project: Adria, CEVA, IDmer, Vegenov or ZOOPOLE development and know that these infrastructures are familiar with confidentiality issues, especially in terms of R&D. The idea is to work together, in synergy, in order to provide scientific knowledge which can benefit to everyone. “
The goal is hence straightforward: develop and share the knowledge on algae for the Algae sector but also, in fine, for the consumer.