2016 CAE Recipient Profile - Acadian Seaplants Limited

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Acadian Seaplants Limited 

Acadian Seaplants Limited manufactures a wide variety of premium seaweed products and is the largest manufacturer of its type in the world. The company is diversified across a variety of markets, with a strong presence in the food, feed and agricultural sectors, exporting to over 80 countries. Central to the company’s success continues to be a commitment to unlocking, through advanced research, the many benefits to be derived from seaweeds. The company maintains a dedicated seaweed research facility, and employs a team of 25 scientists in pursuit of greater knowledge in how seaweeds can be used to make the world a better place. 

The company also partners with local, regional, national and international research institutions, agencies and businesses to learn more about the benefits of seaweed. For agricultural applications, field trials in local jurisdictions are a key aspect of this pursuit. Farmers want to know how our products benefit for their crops, in their region of the world. That translates into many field trials, in many countries, for a wide range of fruits and vegetables. The knowledge gained enhances our products’ value proposition and drives the continued growth of the company. 

Another key attribute that distinguishes Acadian Seaplants is the company’s dedication to sustainability in the procurement of wild seaweeds. This year, the company is celebrating its 35th anniversary and its stewardship of the natural resource has never waned. The seaweed resource is as healthy and abundant today as it was when we started.  This is made possible by a respectful approach to the coastal marine ecosystems, and close partnerships with local government authorities and scientists. This ensures sustainability, and the company’s responsibility to safeguard the resource, the habitat, and the environment for the benefit of society. 

The company also maintains a land-based seaweed cultivation facility that is the largest such facility in the world. A unique type of seaweed is grown here, which we use to create premium products for the Japanese food industry. 

Under the guidance of company Founder and Chairman, Louis Deveau, and his son and company President & CEO, Jean-Paul Deveau, Acadian Seaplants has grown substantially since its humble beginning. The company has been honoured by government and business organizations for excellence in innovation, environmental affairs, exports, management, safety and business ethics. 

Today, Acadian Seaplants employs over 350 people in eight countries and approximately 900 seaweed harvesters in Canada, USA and Ireland.  Although global in its reach, Acadian Seaplants is very proud of its Nova Scotia and Acadian roots and is proud to be able to provide knowledge-based employment in rural communities throughout Atlantic Canada, Maine USA and the west coast of Ireland. 

As we complete our PEP journey, we look back at the many benefits this program has provided our company. While we were challenged by many of the PEP criteria, we are a much better company for it. Being a small company, our employees tend to wear many hats, and we were unable to create a dedicated PEP team. However, we soon learned that the PEP criteria were a good fit, creating opportunities that were right for our company, and that our employees could embrace in the evolution of their own departments. 

During our Level 4 assessment, the Excellence Canada verification team travelled to our research facility in Cornwallis, a tiny community in rural Nova Scotia, to meet with our scientists and learn about the science of seaweed. They also toured our largest manufacturing facility, also in Cornwallis, which produces a seaweed extract for agricultural markets. The EC team met with many employee groups, including several groups at our head office in Dartmouth, NS. 

We look forward to continuing our relationship with Excellence Canada. The new Excellence, Innovation and Wellness program is another good opportunity for our company to grow and advance, offering a structured approach to continuous improvement in areas that are critical to our future success.