Sea Health Products | Celebrating Australian Food and Agribusiness Innovations 2021
Jo Lane believes in the health benefits of seaweed. As the owner of Sea Health Products, she relies on hand-harvested kelp to produce her range of nutrient-rich products.
With a background in marine science and an interest in sustainable coastal environments, Jo understands the delicate balance that delivers a naturally occurring product. Harvesting relies on perfect conditions, with availability impacted by weather, tides and extreme events like bushfires and floods. Interested in accessing a more consistent supply, Jo investigated farming.
Australia has no local kelp industry so Jo toured the world in 2019 under a fellowship grant to study farming systems and cultivation methods. Back home, she worked with researchers to study the breeding cycle and commence cultivation trials.
She intended to incorporate more food items into her range including kelp jerky, tapenade and salsa, but the first product in Jo’s sights was seaweed salad. Despite an abundance of local species, Australia imports seaweed salad from Japan and Korea. Jo worked with a chef to develop the recipe and conduct trials on shelf life and packaging.
Kelp farming is common in other parts of the world, but Jo believes it’s an innovative undertaking in Australia and says it is spurred on by an interest in regenerative and restorative farming and the carbon neutral aspect of marine permaculture.
She sought FIAL’s involvement to further the food range and offer sustainably derived products that deliver significant health benefits and found that support invaluable.
“It’s a wonderful sector to be involved in. People are increasingly taking notice of provenance and very much invested in their health. FIAL’s focus on change and innovation really tied in with what we were trying to achieve, and the support has been fantastic from a funding, information and access point of view,” she said.