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Sustainable seaweed - LRQA certifies the world's first laver seaweed farm.

A farm in South Korea, operated by Haedam Co., has become the world's first laver seaweed farm to achieve certification against the ASC-MSC Seaweed Standard for responsible and sustainable seaweed production.

The Haedam Co. farm is located on the small island of Wido, off the western coast of Korea, situated in the country's Buan County. The company's laver seaweed is sold under the Pulmuone brand and the crispy seaweed snacks and seasoned laver are exported to Europe and the USA. LRQA has also certified three additional companies within Pulmuone's supply chain.

The certification is the culmination of a process of research and development over a 14-year period. Pulmuone has developed its own varieties of laver that are optimised for local growing conditions, known as Pulmunoeul and Pulmuhaesim.

Patricia Bianchi, Seaweed Account Manager for ASC and MSC, said: "Seaweed has many potential environmental benefits which is one reason it is becoming more popular. But if it's not done responsibly it can still have unintended environmental and social consequences, which is why it's so important that companies like Haedam commit to the most stringent standards or responsible and sustainable production."

Due to the rapid growth of global seaweed production and its increasing economic importance, the sector is facing many environmental and social challenges. Haedam's farm is located in the West Sea in an area rich in biodiversity, which as part of the certification process, third party auditors must ensure isn't adversely affected by production.

The ASC-MSC Seaweed Standard also includes social requirements and all ASC-MSC certified seaweed farms must ensure workers are treated and paid fairly and are provided with a safe and healthy working and living environment. Finally, harvesting and farming activities operate in a manner that minimises negative impacts on neighbours, respects rights and cultures, and benefits communities.

Find out more about LRQA's Seafood services.

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