Zeewar is the first company in the Netherlands that produces and exclusively works with sustainably cultivated seaweed from clean seawater in the EU. The result is a premium seaweed product, in terms of taste, nutritional values, color, and a tender bite.
With the increasing demand for seaweed (an average 10% p/y according to FAO), it is of crucial importance to cultivate seaweed, and to do this in a sustainable manner. Sustainable means to cultivate without using any compounds anywhere during the process, such as pesticides and manure. And with a scale that ensures a healthy balance in the local nutrient levels of the sea. Cultivation means the process of planting start material, or baby seaweed, in the farm and have the harvesting only take place there. This process ensures that the natural seaweed beds are left in peace to perform their important ecological roles.
Zeewaar's seaweed farm is located in the Jacoba bay of the Eastern Scheldt. A famous Natura 2000 park in the south of the Netherlands. The location right behind the famous Delta Works that keep the North Sea out of the country (which is below sea level), means that the farm is protected against storms, but also against boat traffic and tourism. This makes it the ideal seaweed cultivation location. The harbor is an estimated 6 hectares large, for which Zeewaar has the government permit to cultivate seaweed in the middle section. Zeewaar designed the seaweed installation and with advice from locals in the fishery sector. It is built to withstand the most outrageous storms, with steel poles that stand 7 meter deep in the sea bed. Between the poles, thick ropes held afloat by buoys, this is the roof of the seaweed farm. Underneath, deeper in the water, the seaweed start material, or ”hatchlings' float on other ropes that are tied to the roof until they are ready for harvest.
Zeewaar Seaweed Herbs are for sale in supermarkets and specialty stores through the Netherlands, and are very suitable for roll out in other countries in the EU and even beyond. There are two varieties: Zeewiermix, a mix of two seaweed types: Royal Kombu and Ulva for the ultimate taste experience as well as health boost and, Zeewierzout: a mix of seasalt, Royal Kombu and Ulva seaweeds.
Rebecca Wiering and Jennifer Breaton invented the idea of the first Dutch seaweed farm in 2012, and incorporated the company Zeewaar in January 2013. In 2015, Marco de Leeuw and Stichting DOEN Foundation joined as shareholders.
Jennifer was born in the US, where she was an attorney practicing in New York City. Europe was her favorite destination for vacations and her mother grew up in The Hague. So she jumped at the chance in 2008 to obtain a Master's degree in International & European Trade & Investment Law from the University of Amsterdam.
Rebecca was raised in Bergen (NH), studied in Amsterdam and right after completing her studies she moved to New York City where she was hired by Saatchi & Saatchi.(FIS)