Situated between the Scottish Mainland and Norway, are the UK's most northerly group of islands - Shetland, where Böd Ayre Products Ltd is based.
The Shetland Islands hosts the best display of breeding seabirds in Europe. The coastal areas also have an abundance of otters, forming one of the largest and densest populations in Europe, along with large numbers of both common and grey seals, dolphins, sharks and whales.
'Simon King, natural history presenter and Britain's best-known wildlife cameraman, is passionate about Shetland. In 2009 Simon carried out filming of his 'Shetland Diary' conveying the wonderful wildlife along with the almost 'permanent daylight' in mid summer. He also showed the contrast of Shetland's fierce winter storms.
To see some of the abundance of wildlife around Shetland - you can view at: http://www.nature-shetland.co.uk/naturelatest/latestcetaceans.htm
Shetland's coastal waters are the most productive in the world. The Continental shelf around Shetland is a mixing zone for nutrients welling up from the depths. Because of this the maritime industries have always been the Shetland Islands main contribution to the local economy including fishing, salmon farms and mussel farms.
Böd Ayre Products is commercially leading the way in the UK by carrying out two trial seaweed cultivation farms and is looking to put further seaweed farms in place around Shetland's shores, thus adding another dimension to the maritime industries.
Seaweeds thrive in Shetland's clean, clear waters. This became our inspiration to produce natural and organic seaweed products. Presently, most of the seaweed is harvested by hand from around Shetland's coastline, using a sustainable management plan.
The cultivation of seaweed would enhance the production, and provide the possibility of growing particular species of seaweed (provided the species is already growing naturally within the area).
Presently the main species growing naturally on the trial seaweed farms is the Laminaria saccharina (Sugar kelp).
Böd Ayre Products has been trading since 2003, with directors Margaret and Michael Blance both engaged full time in the management and running of the company.
Böd Ayre Products has already produced a portfolio of organically certified seaweed products specifically focusing on animal feed and plant fertiliser. The aim is now to include in the portfolio high quality Shetland seaweeds to introduce into the cosmetic industry, as well as the food industry.
The Business has recently completed an energy saving project, with the erection of a 20kw wind turbine north from the seaweed factory, which is providing low carbon energy to new clean production facilities, for processing seaweed extract suitable for the cosmetic industry, and dried edible seaweed products.
Our mission is to run a profitable business by providing natural and sustainable products derived from seaweed. The Company seeks to promote the importance of health and well being of the environment and its inhabitants, both people and wildlife, whilst protecting the economy, thus helping to encourage us all to live in a sustainable way that doesn't harm the planet now or for future generations to come.
The seaweed used in the products is harvested by hand, using no machines, and is part of a sustainable management plan, thus ensuring the sustainability of the local ecosystem.