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. 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.
In 2002 we joined the Valagro Group, sharing their vision:
Meet people's needs using up the least amount of resources thanks to a new awareness that is able to use science for the benefit of mankind through innovation while respecting nature at the same time.
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.
- 100% Norwegian Ascophyllum nodosum
- 50% Italian Headquarter
- 50% Norwegian production plants
- 100% Experience (more than 80 years)
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.
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.
Valagro Group Vision
Meet humanity’s needs by using fewer resources, thanks to a new Conscience able to put science at the service of man through innovation and respect for nature.
We have always created with passion innovative and effective solutions for the nutrition, care and beauty of people, animals and plants. Starting from the best Arctic resources. With respect for all beings and the environment.
Respect for an uncontaminated territory, where the midnight sun shines and the tides transform the landscape, where it is not uncommon to see whales in the clear waters, under a deep blue sky; but also respect for the people that live in these places, because they have wisely given us their knowledge of the methods of collection and use of seaweed, ensuring an eco-sustainable work to this day.
This respect is the foundation of our ethics, a system of values that gives top priority to passion for one's work and for customers; responsibility towards the environment, cohesion and multiculturalism, including confidence in innovation.
Respecting these values at corporate level is actually a commitment to ourselves, as testified by strict certification procedures on products and processes:
- Integrity and honesty
- Passion for customers, products and work
- Responsibility for ourselves, others and the environment
- Cohesion and multiculturalism
- Faith in innovation Valagro Group Values
From nature to nature, through innovation: Geapower technology
Producing more and with fewer resources is the challenge of our time. At Algea, we believe this can be achieved only through scientific innovation; we follow the innovative path of excellence developed by Valagro, which consists of four thorough stages:
1 - Knowledge of and access to raw materials
We carefully select the sites for harvesting, taking the seaweed from natural sites at the most appropriate moment to get the highest concentration of active ingredients. We only go back to the same place after 4 or 5 years, for seaweed to have enough time to grow again.
2 - Choosing the extraction methods
For each raw material and for each active ingredient it contains, our researchers select and develop the most effective extraction method based on the solution that needs to be achieved. This is made possible by the scientific skill and advanced equipment that can exploit the substances extracted without altering them.
3 - Implementation of investigative strategies
The process of identifying and chemically characterizing substances contained in the extracts obtained from the raw materials takes place in our laboratories. We precisely identify the nature and quantity of the numerous substances contained in the plant extract, making use of various different instruments and forms of analysis.
We know the composition of Ascophyllum nodosum at 95% as we have also featured its active ingredients to an infinitesimal extent.
4 - Solutions for the intended use
In-depth knowledge of the different needs of each sector of application enables us to take things one step further: Combining the various active ingredients to get the most out of the synergistic effect and increase their results.
There is innovation not only in the products but also at our industrial plants in Norway, each of which is dedicated to specific production. Being close to harvesting sites is crucial as it allows us to check the production chain thoroughly thus avoiding long transportation times to other plants and extended periods of storage, which would entail a deterioration of the raw material. Seaweed is processed within 24 hours of harvest to keep their active ingredients at their best.
The quality of our seaweed-based products comes from their ability to maintain their natural properties, using a methodology that brings together sustainability and scientific know-how. This entails thorough knowledge of Arctic algae, even before harvesting.
Having studied their life cycles and the composition of active ingredients according to current season and climate conditions, we know how to choose the most appropriate time to harvest the seaweed.
With 80 years of experience, we have designed and built our own equipment most suitably to harvest seaweed without damaging it, ensuring minimal noise and environmental impact.
Our method and equipment allow us to leave the environment where harvesting takes place intact: seaweed grows back fully within four years.
Each production stage is carefully monitored, from harvesting to drying, grinding and packaging. Our procedures comply with strict Norwegian laws and regulations, in addition to Community HACCP and GMP (Good Manufacturing Practices) procedures, ensuring strict compliance with hygiene standards.
At Algea, respect for the environment is not limited to our factories, but involves each and every process and activity. In our facilities we are engaged in energy saving policies, sustainable waste management and reduction of emissions.
We certify our products to meet the needs of the market: this is the case of the OMRI (Organic Material Review Institute) for AlgeaFert Solid G and Ecocert validation for AlgeaFeed.