BBC Food & Farming Awards - Fal Oyster Ltd. - Best Food Producer January 19 2016
Here is the reply after sending a box of Fal Oysters...
"Thank you very much for sending through the samples for the BBC Food & Farming Awards judging meeting last week. The judges were impressed with your products, but I’m afraid that they did not select Fal Oyster to go through to the finalist stage. Real congratulations though – out of over 1000 nominations, to get through to the last 20 is brilliant. "
Here is my own 2016 nomination...
If I had a member of staff, I would have asked them to submit a nomination, but it's just me at the mo, so I though what the hell...
I've entered Best Food Producer category, because I believe we are one of them! But you can always nominate me and the pop up team for Street Food trader category ;)
Describe the food being produced. What do they make? Include the range of products, taste, price and where and how it’s sold. (250-300 words) 281
Unique gatherer and merchant of wild Cornish Native ‘Fal Oysters’, Fal Oyster Ltd. is the first company to conform to Trading Standards verification and have authority to use ‘Protected Designation of Origin’ on any oyster! Not to be mistaken for farmed Pacific oysters, these wild natives have a very distinct shape and flavour of melon and cucumber (fresh and zincy).
I supply top restaurants all over London and in the South West – I have appeared in numerous national papers; Guardian/Times/Telegraph and even on BBC Country File with Matt Baker a few years ago (although he said he liked oysters when we met, he later told Fiona Ware he preferred the ‘cooked’ ones ;) on national TV!)
Produced aboard a traditional sailing fishing vessel, one of the last wooden Falmouth Working Boats that I rebuilt in 2008 – AlfSmythers.co.uk
Processed in premises approved by DEFRA, CEFAS & Cornwall Council and many others trade price from 65p – CornishNativeOysters.co.uk
Packaged at the fishery for retail and wholesale distribution to homes and top restaurants, also showcased at my own pop up restaurant & bar, retail price from £1.65 – Ostraca.co.uk
Whilst the native oyster season is only September to April, the business has diversified during the summer months with the pop up events and festivals showcasing and working with other local artisan producers – PopUpGatherings.co.uk.
Since the launch of our unique pop up Ostraca we have worked closely with other top producers and served the freshest shellfish caught or harvested within 25 miles - such as Tempura Porthilly Rock Oysters 3 for £10 or Whole Cooked Crab at Carlyon Beach for £15
All can be viewed under the main company Fal Oyster Ltd. by visiting our website – faloyster.co.uk
Why should this producer win an award? What makes them and their food so special? (200-300 words) 244
I would really like to win this, not for me but for the Fal Oyster! The ONLY oyster with a PDO !
Since buying an old wooden boat in 2008 I have learnt to restore wooden vessels, learnt to sail properly, and learnt a 500 year old industry gathering wild Fal Oysters under sail and oar, using just the wind and the tides.
Once ashore they have to be carefully weighed and graded, some are stored in unique storage trays I designed to reduce the mortality. A small part of the process has saved hours in processing when it comes to purifying and documenting movements of Live Shellfish.
The sale of high risk foods comes at a price, but I have fully approved premises and a recognised food producer UKCQ710EC. Everything I have built over the years has been on a shoe string, financed by friends and family, and not paying myself, but with a little recognition I’m sure I can turn things round and make a living from this incredible industry.
I have all the credentials to go with a very unique food product, Fal Oysters, which admitted may not be everyone’s first choice, but I have tempted many to try and have a very high success rate, I believe Fal Oysters are very good for us and the environment.
The Fal Oyster has only just achieved this status, so I hope we are at the beginning of some positive recognition for the fishery.