Fowey Shellfish Company started in 1995 when Dave Hancock had the vision to create Cornwall’s first offshore rope grown mussel farm. Growing on ropes, as opposed to the traditional method of growing on beds, was a new technology at the time.
Rope grown mussels allow the farmer to locate his site in pure water away from the pollution that can be found close to shore. The mussels have a plentiful supply out to sea and grew quicker and larger than their bed grown counterparts.
By 2016, the farm had increased its production to 250 tonnes per annum of Cornish mussel and since then, the farm has increased its size and in 2018 became the UK’s first Soil Association certified ‘Organic’ mussel farm.
In 2018, a programme of capital investment allowed the introduction of a cutting edge modified atmosphere packing line to maintain a fresh, clean product with industry leading shelf life.
Fowey Shellfish Company work on three tenants: organic, sustainable and traceable. Dave Hancock explains what these are.
“We are often asked how a natural product like mussels can be ‘organic’. It is a valid question as almost all mussel production in the UK is carried out without the use of external feeds or antibiotics. However, it is important to note that not all mussels are created equal.
Our wild mussel seed is collected out at sea on ropes and grown on to become the mussels that we sell. Often, mussel farms will import their seed from other countries with issues relating to the associated carbon footprint and the ecological effects that sometime come about by moving different varieties and species between waters.
We are also committed to using natural products whenever possible. Fowey Shellfish Company are the only mussel farm in the UK to be using organic cotton in our production process. This is at considerable cost over and above the usual genetically modified cotton that the bulk of the rope grown industry use.
Mussels are one of the most sustainable forms of farmed food in the world. Not only do they improve the environment, (by filtering the water that they are grown in, but they also sequester carbon out of the water into their shells). As a result, they have one of the lowest carbon footprints of any grown foods too.
With an ever-growing global population, aquaculture and in particular shellfish, it offers a sustainable way to provide an endless, low impact, high quality protein for human consumption.
Our customers are becoming more and more conscious of where their food has come from, what environmental effects its production has had, and they want to know that what they are buying is exactly as advertised.
Our organic mussels are grown from wild seed caught off the coast of Cornwall (we also have a farm in Wales with similar local provenance), grown to full size in St Austell Bay and then processed for sale at our site in Fowey. We can demonstrate traceability in our products from ‘port to plate’.
On occasions, our customers might ask us to source mussels from elsewhere, West Coast of Ireland, for example. In this instance we carefully vet our suppliers and only take from accredited organic farms with their own traceability audits.
All the beautiful shellfish is landed locally to Fowey, Cornwall, to ensure freshness and quality”.
Nationwide delivery (excluding Saturdays)
Order before 12 noon on Thursday to receive delivery before the weekend.
CONTACT US AT
Fowey Shellfish Company Ltd
Phone: 01726 833043
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