Cornish Native Oysters Business Plan 1 September 16 2012

In 2009 I wrote:

"By supporting this micro-business it will enable the value of Truro Oysters to significantly increase for the last of the traditional oystermen, whilst encouraging new generations to learn the skills. In return Truro Oysters will establish a self-sufficient micro-business model for other businesses, establish a market that understands the very distinctive oysters and introduce a traceability scheme to seal in the provenance of every oyster. 

In 2012 the Port of Truro Oyster & Mussel Fishery will be assessing the viability of the fisheries own license and with only a dozen or so boats dredging on a daily basis, it is imperative that the very unique and sustainable source of food be recognized and its future secured for generations.

A benefit to all…

The current value for the oystermen is £2.30 per kilo (18p ea), to employ three staff (two onboard and one ashore) for six months is £25,000 that’s 21 x 20kg bags a week every week just for employment alone. A very good week only brings in 15 bags.

20kg bags at a merchant’s value of £6.25 per kilo (50p ea) means just 8 bags need to be landed and sold every week to cover staffing costs

At a value of £9.38 per kilo (75p ea) its just 5 bags a week, which is half the average predicted catch for 2009/2010 season

Within a year increase the oysterman’s value almost 300% from 18p each to 52p (equivalent to today’s merchant value) by marketing the unique history and sealing in the provenance of each character and boat. The following year an increase of just 50% then 33% the year after, so a new value of around a £1, which would encourage new boats and crews, managing the beds would increase growth and if there were 50 boats again the fishery would be saved and each boat would still only need to land 10 bags each for it to be equally viable."

In 2011-12 season the average price you paid for these exceptional oysters was £1.23 each, hard work and provenance is the key and thank you so much, now we can start the Business Plan 2...