My name is Noel Lee and I am the founder and company director of Connemara Organic Seaweed Company, based in Rosabhíl, Co. Galway.
What inspired you to join the natural health sector?
From being exposed to consuming various seaweeds from a very young age, I truly believe that seaweed is a superfood. Seaweed vitamins are exceptional not only due to their biochemical functions and antioxidant activity but also due to other health benefits.
Where did you get the idea for your brand?
For generations, my family have been hand harvesting Kelp and Seaweed off the Connemara Coast. I started the company in 2014 exporting bulk seaweeds globally to the cosmetic, food ingredients, pharmaceutical and animal feed industries. I have always had a great interest in human nutrition and with the help of scientific research and nutritionists I developed edible seaweeds and health food supplements.
What makes your brand unique?
I am very passionate about seaweed and the environment and this reflects itself in my brand, being a small scale local producer I only source and produce Guaranteed Irish, organically certified, sustainably sourced produce and deal personally with my clients worldwide.
What are your company’s core values?
Our mission is to provide hand harvested, sustainable, kelp and seaweed products for human consumption through health supplements and edible products. Having a positive impact on our community and our environment is at the core of all that we do. I am very aware of the importance of seaweeds for marine life, and we need to balance this with its use by humans. We, therefore, adopt an ecosystem approach, meaning that we promote conservation and sustainable use in an equitable way.
How do you support your community?
With the growth of my business I have created additional local employment and encouraged people to stay in the community. I regularly offer my skills to marine development programs and sponsor many local charities and events.
What has been the most rewarding part of your brands journey?
The most rewarding part of my brands journey has been the recent development of four food supplements, Irish Sea Moss powder and capsules and the natural combination of Irish Sea Moss and Bladderwrack supplements. The availability of these supplements will give those with hectic lifestyles the opportunity to reap the intrinsic health benefits of seaweed on the go in both powder and capsule form.
What in your opinion makes Irish brands unique?
Unique Irish branding promotes our country not just our products, at Connemara Seaweed Company we pride ourselves in having the Guaranteed Irish symbol which is the national symbol of trust in business in Ireland and the Irish licensed mark was awarded to us as we are Irish based and we support being sustainable , contribute to our local communities, and are committed to Irish provenance.
What is your favourite product from your brand?
My favourite product is the Irish Sea Moss and Bladderwrack powder which I use daily in my breakfast smoothies.
Tell us about something that has shaped your brand?
I feel I have a deep understanding of who our audience is, what matters to them, and what their needs and challenges are, to grow my brand I intend to focus on their needs. An example of this is today seaweed is steadily becoming a key player in global food production and health supplement industries, people are becoming more aware of the health benefits of edible seaweed and the benefits of taking seaweed food supplements. Seamoss, more commonly known in Ireland as Carrageen, has had expediential growth worldwide and the Increase in consumer awareness about Irish moss and its benefits has resulted in a substantial demand for Authentic Irish Moss, which in turn has lead to our new product development and growth of the company.
What do you hope to accomplish in the future?
As the company owner of Connemara Organic Seaweed, I hope that my passion and commitment to sustainably harvesting organic Irish seaweed will continue to grow in line with worldwide demand. As well as exploring the endless possibilities of seaweed applications in many industries, I am also looking forward to developing new products with health-related benefits.