Algea collects and processes algae like Ascophyllum nodosum to make extracts and phytocomplexes for use in agriculture and animal feed. In Norway, beyond the Arctic Circle, in one of the purest habitats in the world, we have been harvesting and processing Ascophyllum nodosum with great passion for over 80 years. We harvest Ascophyllum nodosum following a strict process to preserve its quality, with tools and technologies that are so advanced that they leave the environment completely unchanged. Production chain checks, attention to the environment and to the population of the surrounding areas and the strict tests we run on our products make us a point of reference worldwide for the production and marketing of seaweed products.
Because this seaweed undergoes strong climate stress due to being sometimes exposed to the sun and bad weather and other times immersed into freezing Arctic waters it developed active components of the highest quality and purity. We harvest Ascophyllum nodosum following a strict process to preserve its quality, with tools and technologies that are so advanced that they leave the environment completely unchanged. Processing takes place near harvesting areas to keep all the properties intact. As well as our first site, we have built a new ultra-modern plant to process seaweed.
Thanks to the Geapower technology system developed by Valagro, we gained complete knowledge of the Ascophyllum nodosum. We can therefore design and develop innovative solutions using seaweed for specific purposes: for agricolture and animal feed.
Production chain checks, attention to the environment and to the population of the surrounding areas and the strict tests we run on our products make us a point of reference worldwide for the production and marketing of seaweed products.
1937 A new entrepreneurial idea
The history of our company begins long before the actual founding of Algea.
It starts in Norway with the traditional use of seaweed for animal and vegetable nutrition, an ancient practice that involves adding seaweed to animal feeds or scattering it over cultivated land.
As a matter of fact, growing in the land of the midnight sun, the seaweed, exposed to extreme environmental conditions of both winter frost and light during the summer months, naturally develops and accumulates some important chemical compounds.
This gave an idea to entrepreneur Haakon Torgesen, who decided to found a company dedicated to seaweed processing. Algea Produkter AS was founded in 1937.
1940-1950 Pioneers in a new market
During the first ten years of production, Algea gave life to a new market, making the first pioneering studies and gradually achieving an effective production method and ideal raw material.
Thanks to the support given by the Norwegian Technical University, the company greatly increased its production and started to market the first alginate products in 1942; these were salts made from the cellular lining of brown seaweed.
During the 1950s, Algea established itself on the market with its alginate Gelatan and seaweed meal, allowing for the expansion of its business to three production plants in Northern Norway which produced about 2,000 tonnes a year.
Algea's international objective was already clear: it exported 50% of its seaweed meal to The Netherlands, United Kingdom, France and United States.
In 1960, Algea built a new plant on Brasoy Island; five years on, it added another one in Rorvik and in 1970 a plant that is still active today: Brønnøysund.
The results achieved allow further investments in research, which will bring new methods that will revolutionise the market.
1960-1980 Seaweed extract revolution
In 1960, Algea started marketing its first seaweed extract, which slowly but constantly grew on the market for the subsequent twenty years.
In the years Algea built several plants along the Norwegian coast, including that of Brønnøysund which still exists today.
Algea became a point of reference for seaweed meal in Norway and Great Britain, so it invested in research and scientifically proved the nutritional benefits of seaweed extracts.
Concurrently, it produced a fleet of special machines to harvest seaweed that were completely different from those used in other places, making it possible throughout the year and so developing a new method of production that revolutionized the market.
1980-2000 Growth and diversification
In the 1980s, supported by proven beneficial properties of its products, Algea diversified production, extending it to animal feed, including fish food, and cosmetics. In 1984, the Drammens Tidende & Buskerud Blad wrote: 'After years of scientific research with promising results, there are strong indications that the seaweed extract manufactured by Securus’ subsidiary in Drammen, Algea Produkter, will be a hit on the world market”.
In 2000, the solid economic base built up by the company allowed the acquisition of Maxicrop, an English company specializing in the production of seaweed extracts, as well as Frøytang, a Norwegian company at the time leader in production of seaweed products for human and animal consumption. The time has come to turn a new corner, this time in Italy.
2002-Today The new frontier
Italian company Valagro, global leader in specialised fertiliser, already purchasing Algea's products to add to their biostimulants, now shares the Norwegian company's corporate vision that puts product quality at the top of its priorities, as well as sustainability, scientific research and the protection of environment and population.
Therefore, all requisites are present for the merger of Algea into the Valagro Group in 2002.
The scientific and technological know-how provided by Valagro gives a new input to Algea, to which Norwegian Nordtang is added in 2005 as the only producer of seaweed-based products in the world, located north of the Arctic Circle.
Today, Algea keeps its world leadership for the production of raw materials made from seaweed, investing in research and development to find new efficient and sustainable solutions that can meet the growing demand for food and well-being in the world.