Algaia names Frédéric Faure as CEO
In his new role, he will be responsible in accelerating the company’s sustainability strategy.
Algaia has appointed Frédéric Faure, one of the co-founders of the company, as its new CEO. Faure outlined the company’s sustainability plan towards achieving a minimal carbon footprint by 2025.
Eliminating seaweed waste
Algaia is committed to advance its co-extraction strategy of fresh seaweeds in house, and optimise the use of raw materials to reduce its environmental impact. The traditional manufacturing process for seaweed extracts utilises a small portion of the biomass while generating significant solid and liquid waste. Depending on the technologies and the types of extracted compounds, only 15-35% of the raw material is actually used. As such, the company has set a goal of using its multiple-extraction process to valuise 80-90% of the fresh seaweed biomass that it harvests by 2025.
The company claimed that the traditional methods of seaweed compound extraction do not allow for the isolation of some of the more sensitive compounds due to heat treatment and certain ion-exchange reactions. Some of the components also require fresh seaweeds due to their sensitivity to drying conditions as well as degradation from UV exposure. These are some of the technical challenges producers encounter at extraction facilities that rely on dry imported seaweeds.
Faure explained: “Our know-how in extraction, marine biotechnologies, and our innovative multiple-stage extraction processes can allow us to generate new byproducts, meeting the needs for more sustainable and naturally sourced solutions. We set an ambitious goal to address one of the biggest environmental challenges in producing algae-based products today: keeping up with the fast-growing demand.”
Faure’s two decades of professional experience in specialty food ingredients has been connected to both land and marine plants. Before supporting to found Algaia in 2016, he worked in both France and China in managerial positions and portfolio development for global companies such as Cargill, Evonik, and Lucas-Meyer. He first took on the role at Algaia of business development and commercial director while leading the setup of the R&D center in Saint Lô, Normandy. Faure replaces Fabrice Bohin, who remains a shareholder and member of the board of directors, while becoming the new president of Diana Naturals SAS within Symrise Nutrition.
Building relationship with local fishermen
Algaia has been collaborating with local fisherman to harvest fresh French seaweed from its plant in Brittany, France, to ensure a constant fresh local and renewable supply of seaweed biomass.
“Food companies are increasingly turning to trusted, local suppliers who has demonstrated their reliability in the COVID-19 pandemic,” Faure said. “Working closely with the fishermen lets us speedily answer the rapidly growing demand for our product line and ensure access to the most bioactive components that we could co-extract from our fresh biomass. The fresher the seaweed, the better we can procure of its high-value active compounds. We are eager to further participate and contribute in this traditional ocean ‘farming’ activity in the region and become more involved with the community – they are the key to ensuring a sea-to-fork supply chain with the complete transparency that every consumer deserves.”