Funding awarded to decarbonise our seaweed drying process

Funding awarded to decarbonise our seaweed drying process

Scottish Food & Drink Net Zero Challenge Fund

Three Lothian-based food and drink producers (including Mara Seaweed) have been awarded a total of almost £30K of funding for sustainable projects as part of an industry-wide net zero commitment.

Among those to receive the funding are Matugga Distillery, and Ardgowan Distillery & Briggs of Burton, who are partnering with Heriott Watt University with projects involving the conversion of waste products to useful bioproducts such as fuel and the capture of CO2 respectively. Mara Seaweed will also be working in partnership with Edinburgh Napier University to decarbonise our seaweed drying process. 

Journey to net zero 

17 businesses from across the country have secured the funding from the Scottish Food & Drink Net Zero Challenge Fund for collaborative projects with Scottish universities to accelerate their journey to net zero. Primary producers, manufacturers and hospitality businesses were among funding recipients with projects with eight different academic institutions.

The fund aims to encourage businesses to take action on their environmental impacts in a meaningful way by partnering with world-leading experts and academics in engineering, manufacturing, biotechnology and data science that Scotland is blessed with.

Launched by Scotland Food & Drink Partnership and Interface in October 2021, the Net Zero Challenge Fund is a key initiative of the Scottish Government-backed industry Recovery Plan.

What did our SeaEO say about it?   

Fiona Houston, our Founder and SeaEO said “Seaweed absorbs around 50% more carbon than the tropical rainforest in its growth cycle; but as a company, we want to ensure that our manufacturing process is net zero so that we can fulfil our goal of offering the market products that are truly good for planet health and human health, end to end. This funding will allow us to ensure that we lower our carbon footprint on our processing while significantly improving our productivity and capacity so that we can scale our business and reach new markets. It’s a win-win for the environment and us as a business.”

What did other people say?

Mairi Gougeon, Scottish Rural Affairs Secretary, said: “As one of Scotland’s most important economic sectors, it’s vital that food and drink takes a leading role in tackling climate change. We want to see the success of the country’s largest manufacturing industry continue in increasingly sustainable ways as we, as a country and an industry, target Net Zero.

“It’s fantastic to see such a broad range of businesses collaborating with our universities and colleges to make a real difference. The projects are remarkable in their variety and ambition, and I look forward to seeing how they progress.”

John Davidson, Strategy and External Relations Director at Scotland Food & Drink, added: “Congratulations to the recipients of the Net Zero Challenging Funding. Our industry-wide goal to reach Net Zero is ambitious, but by working closely with colleagues in academia, it is within our grasp. 

“Food and drink businesses of all sizes have a role to play and innovation, like we’ve seen from the businesses receiving this funding, is happening across the sector. Reducing our carbon footprint isn’t just good for the environment, but it’s increasingly becoming a demand from consumers, retailers and wholesalers, so businesses need to adapt. Thankfully Scotland is already a leader in sustainable food production and with focused, collaborative efforts like the Net Zero Challenge Fund, we can protect both the planet and our bottom lines.”

The 17 recipients of the Net Zero Challenge Funding were:


Academic partner

Annandale Distillery

Edinburgh Napier University

Matugga Distillery

Heriott Watt University

Ardgowan Distillery & Briggs of Burton

Heriott Watt University

Arbikie Distilling Ltd

Heriott Watt University

Kilimo IoT Ltd

Robert Gordon University

Caledonian Seaweeds Ltd & Seaweed Generation Ltd

James Hutton Institute

Aurora Sustainability Group

University of Aberdeen

Highland Coast Hotels

University of Highlands & Islands

Grown Agritech Ltd

University of Aberdeen

Dunnet Bay Distillers Ltd

University of the West of Scotland

Kinkell Farm Microgreens & Market Garden

James Hutton Institute

Mara Seaweed

Edinburgh Napier University

Blackthorn Salt

Edinburgh Napier University

Soltropy Ltd

Heriott Watt University




For more information about the Scottish Food & Drink Net Zero Challenge Fund please visit


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