Vidlin-based company Böd Ayre Seaweed Products Ltd, which recently suffered a fire at its premises, has won an award for business excellence.
Böd Ayre took The Crown Estate One to Watch Award for Excellence in a Marine Business in the 13th annual SCDI Highlands and Islands awards.
The ceremony was held tonight in Inverness, where Creative Scotland chief executive Andrew Dixon presented seven companies, described as some of the region’s most innovative and forward-thinking, and one school with awards.
Others to pick up prizes were Marine Harvest (Scotland) Ltd, LifeScan Scotland Ltd, Ross-Shire Engineering, Albyn Housing Society Ltd, New Start Highland, Grantown Grammar School and Orion Group.
Böd Ayre, a family run company, currently has two seaweed cultivation farms, where harvesting is taking place, as well as hand-harvested seaweed from around Shetland shores. It uses a sustainable management plan, thus ensuring the regrowth of the seaweed while leaving sufficient seaweed for wildlife and sheep.
The business processes the seaweeds into natural, organically certified and sustainable seaweed foods for humans, plants and animals.
Böd Ayre director Margaret Blance said: “I am delighted that the work of our small family company to produce sustainable seaweed foods has been recognised by this award.
“We are committed to our environment and to ensuring that we farm and harvest seaweed in a way which leaves sufficient seaweed for wildlife and sheep and ensures its regrowth.”
The Crown Estate’s UK aquaculture operations manager Alex Adrian added: “The growth of Böd Ayre – driven by innovation, market insight, and a desire to expand and develop sustainably – is most impressive. The Crown Estate is proud to be supporting this company and look forward to its continuing success.”
Böd Ayre is currently in the process of rebuilding after a blaze destroyed part of its factory at Lunnaness last month. A building, measuring 20 x 12 metres, was burnt out.
Mrs Blance described the fire as “devastating” but said she and her husband Michael were determined to get the business going again as soon as possible.
Böd Ayre was also recently shortlisted in both the environment and healthier categories of the Highlands & Islands Food & Drink Awards.