Scottish seaweed brand Mara Seaweed is on the verge of closing its doors as administrators seek a rescue deal to save the business.
Recovery specialist FRP Advisory was appointed as administrator on 22 June after the company suffered “severe” working capital issues.
It followed the withdrawal of funding for a committed expansion programme, which led to “unsustainable” cashflow problems, with “administration being the only option”, according to FRP.
Five Mara staff members have been retained for a short period to assist with the sale of stock, but seven employees were made redundant with immediate effect.
The insolvency firm is marketing the brand and assets of the business for sale and urged any interested parties to contact joint administrators Callum Carmichael and Chad Griffin as soon as possible.
“Mara Seaweed had developed a very high profile and outstanding reputation within the food industry for its innovative approach to harvesting and for the quality of its products,” Carmichael said.
“The administration provides an opportunity for a business operating in the food seasonings sector, or an entrepreneur keen to enter the rapidly growing seaweed seasonings business.
“We would ask interested parties to contact the Edinburgh office of FRP Advisory.”
Founded in 2011 as Celtic Sea Spice Company, the business rebranded as Mara Seaweed in 2013 and pioneered the harvesting, processing and manufacture of a wide range of seaweed-based seasonings.
It operated from a purpose-built factory in Glenrothes and had nationwide listings with Tesco, alongside distribution in Ocado, Amazon, Booths and independent stockists in Scotland and England, as well as supplying wholesale and DTC.
The brand – which sourced seaweed from a 33km stretch of Fife coastline and processed it into premium ingredients and seasonings – also won a number of ‘Great Taste’ and food industry awards, and its products regularly featured on TV shows such as The Great British Bake Off.
In 2021, Mara netted £600k in funding from the Scottish government to scale its processing and farming capacity.