Our Story

The Belize Women’s Seaweed Farmers Association (BWSFA) was formed in July of 2019 and consists of 7 members aiming to grow the nascent Eucheuma seaweed industry in Placencia, Belize through new seaweed farming operations and the creation of value-added products made from locally grown seaweed. The initial value-added product ideas on which this report focuses are seaweed gel and seaweed powder. Gel, which is made from soaking or boiling down dried seaweed, is most commonly used as a thickener in drinks and shakes throughout Belize, with an abundance of other potential uses. Powder, made from finely ground dried seaweed, can be used in cooking (soups, smoothies, etc) or as an inclusion in spa products, among other creative possibilities. Powder retains more nutrients and has a longer shelf life than gel given that it is never boiled or heated in the process. Efforts can be divided across the production of multiple value-added products, and these two products, in particular, can serve as the base for secondary value-added products. Future research will explore market-interest in various secondary products down the line.

Those who live in Placencia and neighboring areas are a prime demographic to target for the sale of value-added seaweed products as they have the potential to be consistent customers and may already have familiarity with seaweed as an ingredient. However, it is uncertain how high the level of interest will be amongst those in the community and which products would be of more value and therefore more likely to sell. Local market research for this project had the following objectives:

  • Demonstrate the existence and nature of a local, community-driven market for value-added seaweed products.

  • Advise whether seaweed gel or powder is a more feasible product to focus on, or, if both are to be made, in which proportion.

  • Gain insight into how the value-added products can best be sold.

Building the Belizean Seaweed Industry through sustainable, high-quality products

Board of Directors

Mariko Wallen


Melissa Cabral


Jalima Gold


Britney Gibson


Susan Fuller


Marneesha Leslie