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August 29, 2023

Biddeford seaweed producer Ocean’s Balance partners with New Brunswick supplier

person in orange jacket with line of seaweed COURTESY / OCEAN'S BALANCE Seaweed farmer and food producer Ocean’s Balance in Biddeford is partnering with a New Brunswick seaweed products company.

Ocean’s Balance, a Biddeford producer of edible seaweed products and ingredients, said it has formed a partnership with Aqua Veggies Ltd. of Grand Manan, New Brunswick, a large-scale supplier of seaweed for raw food distributors, vitamin manufacturers, pet food manufacturers and retailers.

The partnership deal was completed earlier this month. Terms of the deal were not disclosed. The goal for Ocean’s Balance is to expand its product offerings, said CEO Mitch Lench.

“We are honored that Aqua Veggies, a company with 25 years of sustainable seaweed experience, has chosen to join forces with us,” said Lench. “This company has made a name for itself for wild-crafted sea vegetables that are 100% organic, harvested by hand and dried to preserve their dense nutrient content.”

3 people in a row in front of shed
Courtesy / Ocean’s Balance
Announcing the companies’ partnership were Ocean’s Balance CEO Mitch Lench, right, and Pam Young and Jason Temple, founders of Aqua Veggies LTD of Grand Manan, New Brunswick.

Aqua Veggies offers seaweed products that include organic dulse in whole leaf and flakes and organic mixes for people and pets that are non-GMO, gluten-free, tested for heavy metals, and sold in recyclable and biodegradable packaging.

seaweed drying
Courtesy / Aqua Veggies
Aqua Veggies dries dulse in the sun.

Aqua Veggies is North America’s largest supplier of dulse, a red seaweed that grows in only a few places throughout the world, according to a news release.

The partnership follows Ocean’s Balance announcement earlier this year that it would install a new drying machine aimed at drying and milling farmed kelp on an industrial scale. Capable of processing 30,000 pounds of seaweed per day, the goal is to process seaweed into flakes and powders that can be employed by pet food manufacturers, cosmetic and nutraceutical companies, and packaged food companies.

The machine offers Ocean’s Balance advanced milling and blending capabilities and is expected to help advance Aqua Veggies capacity, said that company’s co-founder, Pam Youngs.

Ocean’s Balance produces ingredients and edible products made from seaweed that is sustainably farmed and harvested in the Gulf of Maine. 

Aqua Veggies harvests organic sea vegetables by hand in the Bay of Fundy. The company’s organic products include dulse, Irish moss, kombu, wakame, nori and sea lettuce.

In 2018, Ocean’s Balance expanded to a 3,000-square-foot space in the Pepperell Mill in Biddeford and launched nine new edible seaweed products.

Founded in 2016 by Lench and Tollef Olson, the company’s first product line was a shelf-stable kelp puree in 9-ounce jars for retail and gallon containers for the service industry.

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