Seagriculture Speaker

Seagriculture USA

6 - 7 September 2023

Portland, ME, USA

Keynote presentation:

Turning the tide: building a farmer-first blue economy

Samantha Garwin, Director of Market Development, GreenWave, USA

About the speaker:

Sam Garwin leads GreenWave’s efforts to establish reliable, accessible, and equitable markets for seaweed farmers. Her work includes business development and organizing support for regional farmer networks, research and infrastructure pilots to address post-harvest bottlenecks, and value chain coordination to cultivate a resilient ecosystem of businesses to get seaweed from seed to sale. Since 2019, Sam has led the buildout of Seaweed Source, GreenWave’s direct buyer engagement program and digital tool, growing the network to over 50 buyers across nine U.S. states and Canadian provinces, and facilitating forward contracts for over 400,000 lbs of kelp. 

Sam draws on more than a decade of experience building sustainable supply chains and socially responsible business models. Before joining GreenWave, Sam developed market-based solutions for regenerative food companies through her consulting firm, 5th Quarter Foods. She was previously the CEO of Fleishers, a pioneer of pasture-raised whole-animal retail butchery; and an early employee of Maya Mountain Cacao, a social enterprise dedicated to direct-trade organic cocoa bean sourcing. Sam holds a bachelor’s degree in Information Science and Biology from Cornell University.

Company info:

GreenWave works to replicate and scale regenerative ocean farming–a zero-input, polyculture seaweed and shellfish farming model that breathes life back into our oceans. By leveraging a mix of farmer-forward training and support, climate subsidies, and market development, GreenWave partners with coastal communities across North America to create a blue economy that ensures we can all make a living on a living planet. GreenWave’s goal is to train and support 10,000 farmers by 2030 to catalyze the planting of regenerative ocean crops and yield meaningful economic and climate impacts. GreenWave has been featured in 60 Minutes, CNN, the BBC, The New Yorker, Wall Street Journal, and Time Magazine, and is the winner of the 2021 Curt Bergfors Food Planet Prize.


As we build a new blue economy around seaweed farmers, many of us are keenly aware of the opportunity to incorporate equity, transparency, and resiliency from the very beginning. But what does that look like in practice? In this presentation, GreenWave’s Director of Market Development will share examples of projects that are advancing the industry by prioritizing farmer needs and creating new models for collaboration, innovation, and scale.