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 grow quicker and larger than their bed grown counterparts.
We are often asked how a natural product like mussels can be ‘organic’. It’s a valid question as almost all mussel production in the UK is carried out without the use of external feeds and/or antibiotics. However, it’s 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 also 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. We 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 actually improve the environment (by filtering the water that they are grown in, but also they 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, offer 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 there food has come from, what environmental effects it’s 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 are able to demonstrate traceability in our products from ‘port to plate’.
On occasion, our customers might ask us to source mussels from elsewhere, West Coast of Ireland, for example. In these instances we carefully vet our suppliers and only take from accredited organic farms with their own traceability audits