Fowey Shellfish Co.
The Fowey Shellfish Company goes back generations, is family run, and has grown and invested in both technology and technique to become the first certified organic offshore mussel farm in the UK.
Founded over twenty years ago the business has seen significant expansion over the last few years, with a new plant, new vessels, and more room to farm. They offer a superior product by dint of work and location and trade extensively across the UK, supplying restaurants, supermarkets and the public alike.
Will’s father started the business and Will now uses the expertise he handed-down to manage their crop. It was clear that capturing their story was going to require more than one visit. We decided that on our first outing, we would try and capture their process.
We arrived in Cornwall the night before we were due to shoot and caught up with the team in a local restaurant. We got to talk about the business, how it started and what makes it special. We also got to eat some of their shellfish, as Will gave us a crash course in mussel farming.
The next day we joined the gang on the docks, and followed the dockside process as the team clean, grade, check and pack the produce. Then it was time to head out on the RIB to meet the team at sea.
The thing we wanted to highlight in our visit was the way that the team at Fowey Shellfish produce superior food.
By growing on ropes they minimise shell production, maximising meat content. By farming offshore they ensure a clean and constant flow of nutrient rich water across the mussels, again maximising the flavour and meat content of their produce.
By adopting new techniques from overseas they’re able to minimise waste while maximising efficiency, and much of this is done with dolphins swimming in the periphery.
There is an inherent romance to the idea of a life at sea, and this was something we had to be aware of. The temptation to start photographing old bearded men in sou’westers has lured many a photographer onto a rocky shore.
What we needed was to engage with that romance, but to keep in mind that this is a young and energetic team, using the latest techniques to produce superior food, and doing so now.
We produce some of the finest mussels in the UK and beyond, and while our plans for the future include significant expansion it will not be at the expense of quality. We asked ShootRewind to come and tell our story, the truth of it, so that we can take that story to new customers, and into new opportunities.James Fox-Davies
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