Acadian Seaplants - The Early Years
The Company That Launched A Canadian Industry
Louis E. Deveau - the man who created an Atlantic Canadian Seaweed Industry - was born in Salmon River, Nova Scotia. Louis Deveau's association with seaweed started when he was very young on the Acadian French Shore of Nova Scotia's Baie Ste. Marie. He discovered at an early age that seaweeds are an excellent source of nutrients for plants, noticing his father would spread 'goemon de roche' (the Acadian term for seaweed found on the rocky shorelines) on the crops he grew in the family vegetable garden.
Years later, Mr. Deveau would develop value-added technical products processed from seaweeds into a wide variety of products for crops, animal feeds, health and beauty ingredients and products for the brewery industry; as well as develop the technology to build the world's largest, land-based cultivation system to grow unique seaweeds for the Asian food market.
A Career Dedicated To Seaweed
Mr. Deveau ventured into the seaweed business, to which he has dedicated his life, over 45 years ago, when he was recruited by Marine Colloids of Rockland Maine, USA. From 1967-1989 he held positions that prepared him well for one establishing a Nova Scotia company that would place Canada on the international seaweed map. By holding several international seaweed-related positions such as President of Marine Colloids Canada Ltd.; President of Philippine Marine Inc., Manila; President of GelMex, Mexico and Vice-President of Marine Colloids Inc., New Jersey, USA, and as President of Marine Colloids Canada Ltd., his responsibility for the worldwide procurement of seaweeds for processing into carrageenan (a food gum) led him to circle the globe numerous times. During this period, he also spearheaded the development of an entirely new industry - seaweed farming in the Philippines and Indonesia, which today is a major industry in these countries.
The Company That Launched An Industry
Acadian Seaplants Limited (ASL) was founded in 1981 by Louis Deveau, and was born of the vision that he could build a world-class business out of what was originally a small, seasonal seaweed harvesting operation owned by the world's largest carrageenan gum manufacturer, FMC-Marine Colloids, A US-based multi-national corporation. Louis was employed by FMC to manage the local, Nova Scotia business with operations consisting of harvesting, drying and baling seaweed, and shipping it to the US parent company for extraction into the food gum carrageenan.
He made the decision to purchase the parent company's Canadian assets and in 1981, Acadian Seaplants Limited was born. In the early years, ASL continued to be a "one customer - one low value-added product company" supplying its former parent with decreasing requirements of raw material. Recognizing the vulnerability of the situation, Louis Deveau embarked upon a focused business strategy to invest in research and market development to diversify and strengthen the company.
Corporate headquarters for Acadian Seaplants Limited is in Dartmouth, Nova Scotia, Canada. In terms of its operations, the company has five marine plant processing plants in Atlantic Canada and Ireland and operates a seasonal Rockweed harvest in Maine.
Today, Acadian Seaplants is the largest independent marine plant processing company in North America and is recognized globally as a technically superior leader in its diverse niche markets.
Under Louis and Jean-Paul Deveau's leadership, Acadian Seaplants has become an innovative and technology-based, multi-national company with over 95% of its products exported to over 80 countries around the world. Jean-Paul joined the company in 1986 and became its President in 2002.