Seaweed Symposium event at Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh

Seaweed is a wild sea crop that has been eaten by coastal populations for millennia and it is now attracting attention from all parts of the food and health markets. The Foundation has… partnered with the Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh to put on an event to show that seaweed is not just a food of the future, but here and now!

The Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh is a world-renowned centre for horticultural excellence. It consists of over 70 acres of beautifully landscaped ground close to Edinburgh City Centre. Along with its’ three regional grounds, the RBGE represents one of the world’s largest living collections of plants in it’s gardens, nursery, research centre, glasshouses and aquarium. It is visited by over 700,000 people every year.

Seaweed is a wild sea crop that has been eaten by coastal populations for millennia and it is now attracting attention from all parts of the food and health markets. The Foundation has partnered with the Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh to put on an event to show that seaweed is not just a food of the future, but here and now!

The Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh is a world-renowned centre for horticultural excellence. It consists of over 70 acres of beautifully landscaped ground close to Edinburgh City Centre. Along with its’ three regional grounds, the RBGE represents one of the world’s largest living collections of plants in it’s gardens, nursery, research centre, glasshouses and aquarium. It is visited by over 700,000 people every year.

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Craig Rose is Executive Director of the Seaweed Health Foundation, he is assisted in this campaign and running the event by Ruth Dronfield, co-Director of Atlantic Kitchen, member of Seaweed Health Foundation.

DESCRIPTION OF THE CAMPAIGN

The first Seaweed Symposium for Food & Health event in 2013 was an overwhelming success. According to the RBGE, it was the “best attended event in years”, with over 800 people visiting over the weekend. It took place in the beautifully and sustainably designed John Hope Gateway building, RGBE’s new biodiversity and information centre. The event area is excellently provisioned for stalls, talks and demonstrations.

The 2013 event had exhibitors showing seaweed products ranging from supplements to pet foods, world-renowned scientists and institutions, chefs, nutritionists, and celebrated artists displaying their work that takes inspiration from seaweed. 

The talks by nutritionists and herbalists were all full, and the cooking demonstrations from top chefs attracted curious crowds of people of all ages.

The event programme included:

  • Healthy, tasty smoothies with Seagreens® seaweed
  • Vegan and organic Japanese foods from the chefs at Itadaki Zen Restaurant
  • Chef Paul Wedgwood’s seaweed inspired foods
  • Seaweed and its uses in everyday cooking with Mara Seaweed
  • Fascinating talks by Dr Jane Jamieson on:
  • The Nutritional Benefits of Seaweed
  • The External Uses of Seaweed
  • Talk by Monica Wilde, Napiers the Herbalists on: Tired and Over 40? Seaweed & Your Thyroid

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Following the success of the event in 2013, the RBGE have invited the Seaweed Health Foundation back for a second year, and so we are seeking funds to put the event on again, bigger and better, and with a view to building up the profile sufficiently to become a self-funding annual event. The event in 2013 was run on a shoe-string budget from research funds donated by a series of one-off grants from National Universities, and all the talks and contributions were given as an in-kind donation to the cause by enthusiasts and related industry organisations.

For 2014 we would like to widen the pre-event marketing scope to build a dedicated website to host the programme and also the content we capture during the event. We’d like to build our audience via social media and ensure enthusiasts around the world can learn from the speakers and get involved in the conversation, even if they can’t attend. We would also like to invite speakers from father afield and pay for their transport and somewhere to stay during their stay in Edinburgh. We’d like to expand the activities to develop an interactive experience for children and botanical drawing lessons from established artists.

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In terms of marketing, as well as developing an online platform, we will print flyers and posters advertising the event, which will be distributed across target areas in Edinburgh.

In terms of wider promotions, the Symposium takes place during the Scottish Food & Drink Fortnight, an annual fortnight of food-related events across Scotland. The Symposium will be listed on their programme and will benefit from cross-platform marketing. Partners and members, including the RBGE, will also be invaluable for sharing the event across their networks.

WHAT YOU ARE HELPING ACHIEVE

The eventual aim is for the event to become an annual fixture in the RBGE event calendar. Peter Brownless, Nursery Supervisor at the RBGE says: “The Royal Botanic Garden is excited to be hosting the Seaweed for Food and Health Exhibition 2013 where you will be able to learn about and taste all the benefits of seaweed. This fulfills our mission statement ­ “Exploring and explaining the world of plants for a better future”

WHAT WE NEED AND WHAT YOU GET

The Seaweed Health Foundation is seeking £15,397.00 to put on the 2nd annual Seaweed Symposium in 2014. A breakdown of costs is included in this campaign. The funding would be spent on transporting donated artwork to and from the venue, contributions towards content and samples, event costs like insurance, speaker accommodation and transport, marketing and staffing. The event receives significant in-kind support in the form of time and resources from the following partners, who we’d like to thank in advance:

  • Seagreens®
  • Gee Lawson
  • Health Designs
  • Atlantic Kitchen
  • Napiers the Herbalist
  • Eat Balanced
  • PAWSitively Natural
  • Itadaki Zen
  • Mara Seaweed
  • Viridian Nutrition
  • Enabling Health
  • Natural Foods etc.
  • Dan Rees (artist)
  • Ishga skin care
  • More to be confirmed…

If we achieve less than £10,000 we will not be able to go ahead with the event. If we don’t achieve our full funding, but more than £10,000 we will go ahead with the event and scale back the content and number of speakers to fit with the budget. We’re hugely appreciative of all the funding we achieve but would love to make the event as varied and widely known as possible, so we hope you can get involved!

WHO WE ARE

Ruth Dronfield

Ruth is a food entrepreneur and event manager. She has a track record of ten years of event management from large-scale outdoor events to multi-venue, stakeholder-led exhibitions to event director level. She is co-owner of Atlantic Kitchen, a wild organic seaweed business, which she successfully equity crowd-funded in February 2014. She is a firm believer in sustainable food production and the protection of the wild. In her role for the Seaweed Health Foundation she is responsible for marketing the event and helping develop new and innovative content.

The Seaweed Health Foundation was founded to explore and confirm the contribution that seaweed can make to the foundation of health.  This includes education, research and implementation of standards for human food seaweed production.  In the 4 years since its establishment, the Seaweed Health Foundation has achieved a huge amount including:

  • Attracting a wide and diverse range of stakeholders and members that span the entire seaweed supply chain, industry and academia.
  • Successfully raising funding from UK Government research councils that have resulted in commercially applied outcomes, and publications in peer review scientific journals
  • Delivering courses on seaweed accredited by the British Association for Nutrition and Nutritional Therapists (BANT)
  • Presenting at several international conferences to food and health industries
  • International TV, radio and other media appearances to discuss the benefits of seaweed and aims of the Foundation
  • If you are interested in taking part – whether it’s helping out with spreading the word or at the event on the day we would love to hear from you. Please drop us an email on [email protected].

 

View original article at: Seaweed Symposium 2014

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