A Canadian company has purchased Conamara seaweed company Arramara Teoranta.
New owners Acadian Seaplants Limited has announced it will make an initial investment of €2 million in Arramara, and plans further investment in the areas of research, development of value-added products, market development, processing technologies and capital expenditures.
Owned by Údarás na Gaeltachta since 2006, Arramara Teoranta, located in Cill Chiaráin, purchases seaweed from local harvesters, dries and mills the seaweed, and supplies to companies worldwide. It currently employs 20 people directly and purchases seaweed from 300 harvesters.
Announcing the new ownership, the Minister of State at the Department of Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht, Dinny McGinley, said the purchase of Arramara Teoranta by Acadian Seaplants Limited was a positive step.
“This strategic partnership will ensure the company’s future in Connemara and will result in the further development of the seaweed processing sector here. The investments [by Acadian Seaplants Limited] will ensure a continuous demand for seaweed from the local harvesters and provide more employment in the area.”
He said An tÚdarás would continue to work in partnership with Acadian Seaplants Limited to develop the seaweed sector for the benefit of the Gaeltacht community and all stakeholders.
Steve Ó Cúláin, the chief executive of Údarás na Gaeltachta, said the seaweed industry continued to be a very important industry to the Gaeltacht community.
“ An tÚdarás believes investment as well as expertise is now necessary if the potential of the seaweed industry is to be realised in the Gaeltacht. A strategic partnership with Acadian Seaplants Limited, a company with over 30 years’ experience in the industry, and the investment it brings will allow Arramara to develop its business into the future, with benefit accruing to all as a result of increased economic activity and increased local employment.”
He was confident the new partnership with Acadian Seaplants Limited would ensure the future of Arramara, give maximum economic benefit to its employees, the seaweed harvesters, its suppliers and customers, and thereby deliver the best value for the State and the community.
Founded in 1981, Acadian established the seaweed industry in Canada and today is the world leader in marine plant products for people, animals and plants with exports to more than 80 countries, interests in South America, the United States, Asia, Mexico, Canada and now Ireland.