Supporting Local News

Good news for harvesters as seaweed prices treble

Even the rate of inflation is but a fraction of the rising price of seaweed along the west coast – with a new arrival sending prices spiralling as the harvesters reap the rewards.

The seaweed price surge is down to the arrival of a new French operator which had already driven the price per ton to €110 – a threefold increase on what was being paid to them some years ago.

And it is now understood that the French group has now pushed the price to €130 per ton in the past week.

Other companies, including Arramara Teo, which is involved in the purchasing of seaweed in Connemara for the past 75 years, have followed suit with their prices as the competition reaches a fever pitch.

While the prices for a ton of seaweed to harvesters had risen steadily over the past seven years, the recent €40 jump – with the French going up by €60 – has come as a bolt from the blue.

“I find it hard to understand how those prices can be paid by a French concern while they also carry the cost of transportation back to their home country”, states Jim Keogh, European Director for Strategic Affairs for Arramara Teoranta which has its headquarters in Cill Chiaráin.

Mr Keogh estimates that it may be costing the French concern in the region of €300 per ton to bring seaweed from the west coast of Ireland.

“I understand they have an agent and a transport company operating in the process here in the west”, Mr. Keogh said.

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