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Company insight


he process of making Algalif a truly green company has already begun, and production is set to increase by more than 200%, from over 1,500kg to 5,000kg of pure natural astaxanthin annually. The company will then be among the world’s largest producers of high-quality and sustainable, natural astaxanthin from microalgae. Algalif was recently called a company where sustainability is a way of life – truly operating as a green and climate- friendly enterprise, using 100% green geothermal energy and no fossil fuels. Algalif has earned its status as an industry leader since it was founded in 2012. This is due to high production quality and delivery security, the extensive industry knowledge of the management team, and a competitive cost structure. When asked about the future, and how Algalif will tackle market challenges and competition in the coming years, CEO Orri Björnsson has a straightforward answer: “We will stay in the game by doing more of the same.”


Microalgae domination T


At the end of 2020, Algalif announced that it was having the best year in its history and revealed a fully financed $30m expansion plan for its sustainable astaxanthin production facilities in Iceland. The driving force behind Algalif’s success is undoubtedly the entrepreneurial spirit of Orri Björnsson, the company’s CEO.


Under the leadership and guidance of CEO Orri Björnsson (pictured), the Algalif team is set to double in size in the next two years.


from microalgae. The company has been able to seize production and marketing opportunities by understanding trends, technology and consumers, as well as the key players in the industry. “We live by three key values: quality, reliability, and sustainability,” says Björnsson.


“We live by three key values: quality, reliability, and sustainability.”


Local roots complemented by global experience Björnsson is an Icelandic national, born and raised in the country’s capital. He has over 20 years’ experience in pharmaceutical and microalgae industries. Among other things, he was a consultant on international pharmaceutical development projects, and has managed various international programmes for prolific pharmaceutical companies such as Actavis and Balkanpharma. Algalif’s fortune is rooted in Björnsson’s vision, which is to create a profitable business by making quality ingredients


Ingredients Insight / www.ingredients-insight.com


He adds that the company will stay on the same track it’s on now in order to remain a reliable business partner – continuing to produce high-quality products in a responsible and sustainable way.


A European giant Algalif’s expansion is one of the biggest foreign investment projects in Iceland this year – proving important for the local economy. The company is already by far the biggest algae producer in the country, and this is something that does not look set to change in the near future. It is also,


according to a recent study, one of the biggest algae companies in Europe. “We have about 40 employees now and two years from now there will be close to 80 people working for us,” notes Björnsson.


Overcoming challenges during a pandemic


Algalif has met some challenges during the Covid-19 pandemic as most companies have; nevertheless, its sales remain increasingly positive and mark continual growth. “We’re going into this investment because almost everything we produce is already sold out, and last year was the best in our history. There is increasing demand for our high-quality sustainable products. So, we will continue to make more,” says Björnsson. The CEO is well-known for rising to a challenge, and with a team expected to double in size, the success of Algalif’s microalgae innovations shows no sign of slowing down soon. ●


www.algalif.is 21


Styrmir Kári & Heiðdís Photography


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