To maintain current consumption trends the world needs to produce 50-70% more food by 2050. Algae as the primary producers of the marine food web and at the bottom of the food chain are an underexploited resource. There are 80,000 to 100,000 different algae species but only around 200 species of algae are used worldwide, of which only 37 aquatic plants are reported worldwide by the FAO as farmed. Algae are nevertheless becoming increasingly popular in Europe, with a number of companies harvesting, cultivating, or processing them to create a wide range of high-value products. The sector has excellent growth prospects and could make an invaluable contribution to a cleaner and healthier environment.
In October 2020 Algae-UK and ValgOrize held a scoping workshop with a wide range of stakeholders.
As a result, we are now seeking information and analysis that will enable us to assess more accurately the current position of algae in food/feed products and algae supply systems, both nationally and internationally. In addition, we require recommendations that will assist us in developing our future strategy.
Specifically, we seek to understand:
- The nature and size of demand for algae (macroalgae, microalgae) in food products in the UK. This should include a realistic assessment of gaps in the algae-to-food value chain,
- Opportunities and requirements for increasing the amounts of algae-based materials in food products,
- Scope for industrial biotech applications with algae to deliver future foods,
- Policy developments required to increase the use of algae in food products.
- Training requirements to support an algal food supply chain.
- Recommendations for a Roadmap for the UK, including priorities and timelines and plans for dissemination.
The successful tenderer will be able to provide evidence of previous business with the food sector and knowledge of requirements in food/feed production within the UK, Europe and internationally. The Tender Documents can be accessed via https://in-tendhost.co.uk/ucl/aspx/ProjectManage/1518 until 16th August 2021.
Draft tender docs here: UCL-PROC-1345 Algae Project ITT