How has Ocean Farm Supply differentiated itself from its competitors?
What sets Ocean Farm Supply apart from our competitors is that our product is 100% home compostable and is designed to disrupt single-use plastic waste in shellfish harvest and distribution.
What types of products does Ocean Farm Supply provide to consumers?
We have two products on the market currently. First is our Ocean Harvest Bag which is designed specifically for shellfish harvest and distribution. When shellfish is harvested, farmers now have a choice to put their product in the Ocean Harvest Bag instead of a plastic bag. When you go to your seafood counter, the option is now there for your fishmonger to put your shellfish in an Ocean Harvest Bag instead of plastic. This means that you can focus on your premium shellfish and not worry about generating plastic waste. Similarly, we also offer a lightweight Produce Mesh to serve land farmers and distributors. Both of these products are made of cellulose that has been sustainably derived from European Beechwood trees and both break down in backyard compost in 8-12 weeks.
What was the inspiration behind developing the Ocean Harvest Bag and are there plans to develop additional products in the future?
We are ocean farmers and when we started harvesting our oysters, we didn’t want to put such an environmentally beneficial product in a plastic bag. We wanted a more sustainable and low-impact way to get our shellfish to our customers. We weren’t able to find packaging material on the market but were able to develop a solution with a manufacturer in Austria. After some R&D, Ocean Farm Supply and the Ocean Harvest Bag were born.
We are working on some R&D on some additional products such as kelp grown outline and also different applications of our material such as in reef restoration. The first question we ask when starting to think about other products is, “would this work on our farm? Is this a solution?” Anything we design or bring to market is done very intentionally.
What resources, partners, and companies have been helpful to Ocean Farm Supply as it has continued to grow?
We have found Maine’s startup support system incredibly beneficial. We’ve received support from Island Institute, CEI, SeaGrant, and MTI. We were a part of the first cohort of Dirigo Labs which was critical in connecting us with mentors that we still talk with today and helped our team of Mariners decipher the business realm. The New England Ocean Cluster has offered continual support through their network and office space and we also recently found a warehouse space for Ocean Farm Supply in Brunswick at Techplace which will allow us to bring in machinery to grow our product offering.
What are your plans for growing Ocean Farm Supply in the next few years?
We are working hard to capture more of the market and tweak our products to better serve farmers and distributors of all sizes. This includes the development of education materials and facilitation tools to help folks use our product and make the plastic switch. We will also soon be offering our mesh in custom pre-cut lengths. It is our hope that when someone goes to their local seafood counter or grocery store they will have their shellfish and produce packaged in our home compostable mesh.
Down the line, once that market has been developed, we would love to bring manufacturing of this product here and use Maine trees and provide more Maine jobs.
Last modified: October 5, 2022