The capital will be used to accelerate the next phase of operational development of MARI Oceans across various sites in Bone, South Sulawesi
BONE, INDONESIA – Sustainable community-focused seaweed farming organisation MARI Oceans (PT MARI Sejahtera Indonesia) has entered a funding partnership with leading impact investors – Deliberate Capital and global reinsurer group Swiss Re's non-profit arm – the Swiss Re Foundation; forging ahead the next phase of development to enhance current seaweed farming practices in Indonesia.
Currently, seaweed production in Indonesia accounts for around forty per cent of national fisheries output and is a source of employment for over 267,000 households. Many individuals engaged in primary production are former artisanal fishermen or local small traders who have pivoted to seaweed farming as a primary source of income.
However, systemic challenges exist throughout the sector, underpinned by a fractured and inequitable value chain with many farmers lingering on or below the poverty line due to highly volatile output prices and limited access to finance.
MARI Oceans tackles these challenges and risks by optimising production to rebalance the fragmented value chain and unlock the potential of seaweed as a vector for social change, climate risk mitigation and food security.
The funding partnership will help accelerate a range of developments, including improving practice and governance - striving to re-invigorate and transition the Indonesian seaweed supply chain into a formalised sector that works for all.
"MARI Oceans firmly believes in the opportunity that seaweed farming presents in significantly creating better livelihoods for farmers across Indonesia. Our partnership with Deliberate Capital and the Swiss Re Foundation is a tremendous sign of confidence that industry leaders place in us as we create sustainable seaweed value chains that put farmers at the heart of our operations," said Dodon Yamin, Managing Director, MARI Oceans.
Veronica Yow, Manager - ESG & Impact, Deliberate Capital notes MARI's commitment to the growth of the seaweed community in Indonesia, "MARI Oceans’ model is comprehensive and inclusive, taking into consideration farmers’ needs in ensuring seaweed becomes a sustainable livelihood that benefits people and the environment. We are excited to partner with MARI Oceans as they pilot, scale and refine their farmer engagement and business model.”
"Under the area of "Coastal Resilience", the Swiss Re Foundation aims to support Nature-based Solutions which are focused on the protection, restoration and management of natural and modified ecosystems and have a capacity to deliver impact for people and the environment, generate sustainability from a business model with revenue generation and a solid approach for scaling. All elements are met with MARI Oceans.
MARI's approach to seaweed farming is data-driven, anchored in ownership by smallholder farmers and has the right governance mechanisms to ensure commercial revenues, scaling and fair re-distributions. It will set a blueprint for a whole industry, illustrating the power of entrepreneurial solutions for ocean resilience," explains Stefan Huber Fux, Director, Swiss Re Foundation.
With its first tranche of funding, MARI Oceans seeks to be the leading farming organisation in Indonesia, setting a standard for the sustainability of both ocean farming and community business.
MARI Oceans is currently undertaking a capital raise to scale our initiatives further.
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About MARI Oceans
MARI Oceans (PT. Mari Sejahtera Indonesia) is a community-based organisation that supports seaweed farmers' businesses through sustainable and fair cooperative models. By leveraging decades of regional farming experience and providing support systems such as advanced technology, sustainable tools and efficient operations, MARI seeks to increase household earnings and empower farmers.
Beyond its core activities, MARI leverages the cooperative to effectively reinvest back into farming communities through value-add services, such as microfinance, education, waste management, and coastal conservation projects that further strengthen coastal resilience.
About Deliberate Capital
Deliberate Capital was created with the goal of shifting investment dollars towards the creation of deliberate, additional impact. The team at Deliberate Capital created and serves as the fund manager for the Meloy Fund, a pioneer impact investment fund targeting SMEs operating in coastal communities and marine ecosystems in Indonesia and the Philippines. Deliberate Capital is also the sub-Advisor of the Global Fund for Coral Reefs, the first commercial-scale private equity impact investment fund targeting SDG14, and serves as the day-to-day lead.
About the Swiss Re Foundation
The Swiss Re Foundation is a non-profit organisation committed to promoting care and concern for society and the environment. Launched in 2012 by global re/insurer Swiss Re, the Foundation aims to make people more resilient towards natural hazards, climate change, population growth, water scarcity and pandemics, along with other challenges to society's security, health and prosperity. It also supports community projects and employee volunteering in locations where Swiss Re has offices.
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