Quality and Traceability
The River Exe is a deep, fast flowing river that has an all year round “B” Grade Classification, meaning that it is safe to eat the shellfish grown in its
waters provided it has been depurated (or purified) first. The classification is maintained by independent testing carried out on regularly by East Devon
District Council. They take samples of mussels and cockles as well as a sample of the water and send them to laboratory for testing. These shellfish tests
are taken monthly while the seawater test is taken monthly from October to March and fortnightly between April and September. The test results are available
to view on the Food Standards Agency website.
Not all rivers in the Southwest are able to maintain the B Grade Classification all year round. Areas of the Dart, the Fal and Truro Rivers are all downgraded
to a “C” Grade for between 5 and 7 months of the year due to high level contamination. A Grade “C” means that it is unlawful to harvest shellfish for
depuration as there may be a risk to human health, even after the cleaning process.
The waters in the River Exe are so clean that some areas of it have been classified at times as “A” Grade, meaning that the shellfish could be eaten without
depuration. We always adopt a “belt and braces” approach, however, and all of our products are depurated before being sold.
All of our shellfish is farmed in the River Exe, making traceability an unusually simple procedure for us. Not all shellfish producers are so lucky as they
have to buy mussels and other shellfish in from other areas of the country as they are not the primary producers. Keeping track of which batch was supplied
from which part of the country and then tracking which batch was sold to which customer is not something we – and therefore you - have to worry about.
Mussels and other shellfish are harvested and brought in to the unit for depuration on a daily basis. They are loaded in to our tanks and at this point,
are allocated a batch number. Once the shellfish has been cleaned, it is despatched to a variety of customers in a number of different ways. We have designed
our own bespoke software to track every part of the procedure, from the bed that the shellfish has been harvested from, through to allocating and onwards to
dispatch. By viewing the traceability report we can see all of the information that has been recorded about that batch, including what time the purification
started and finished, the water temperature, how many kilos of shellfish and who it was despatched to. This gives us instant information about every batch
and should your customers want to know any detail of its process, we can supply it at the touch of a keyboard.