Tasmanian seaweed producer, Sea Forest, has won a $3.8 million federal government grant to expand the production of its feed supplement to cut methane emissions from livestock.
The grant is part of the government’s Securing Raw Materials Program, which is supporting businesses to expand in regional areas to research and develop innovative and locally sourced raw materials.
The government’s $3.8 million funding contribution will enable Sea Forest to further expand its commercial scale production of the red seaweed, Asparagopsis.
The new funding is addition to $1.67 million provided by the federal government to Sea Forest over the last 12 months.
The company has been able to increase production of Asparagopsis following a major property acquisition in Swansea, Tasmania.
The acquisition of a 30-hectare site, formerly an abalone farm, includes 660 land-based ponds for the production of the Asparagopsis seaweed feed supplement for livestock, which is proven to have a significant impact in cutting methane emissions.
The Swansea operation will supplement Sea Forest’s marine farming, harvesting and processing operations at its 1,800-hectare marine farm at Triabunna, also located north of Hobart.
Sea Forest CEO, Sam Elsom said the government recognises the growing popularity of its unique seaweed supplement.
“We are currently conducting industry trials of Sea Forest’s SeaFeed products with a range of beef, diary and wool companies across Australia and New Zealand, including Fonterra, Australian Agricultural Company and Stockyard,” he said.
Sea Forest is expanding production to supplement over 400,000 cattle annually from its Triabunna and Swansea operations, which will eliminate more than 1 million tonnes of CO2 emissions from livestock per year.