The sun is breaking through, the sea is a calm azure blue, and as our boat sets out from the Lizard Peninsula in Cornwall, we pass three grey seals basking on rocks in the sunshine. I’m in the area to visit the Cornish Seaweed Company, an idea which began after founder Caro Warwick-Evans heard about the seaweed industry in Ireland on Radio 4’s Farming Today.
Seaweed is a rich and widely popular source of protein, fibre and around fifty-six different minerals. Widely popular in Southeast Asia and used in Ireland, Wales and Scotland, seaweed has yet to make a name for itself in England.
‘It got me thinking: why not do this in England?’ says Caro. ‘And it made perfect sense to team up with Tim [co-founder] as we both share a love of the sea and enjoy spending time outdoors.’
At the time, Caro – a graduate from Exeter University in Renewable Energy Engineering – had recently returned from working in Peru and Borneo, installing wind turbines, and was now working as a cleaner. Tim van Berkel, a tropical ecologist who’d set up the conservation charity Heart of Borneo Project, was also looking for a new challenge.