These sustainably produced oysters (Crassostrea gigas) will be officially unveiled at the European Seafood Exhibition, being held in Brussels on 27-29 April 2010.
Kaipara Oysters have also been entered into the foodservice category of the fiercely contested Prix d’Elite new products competition.
Produced family-run oyster company, Kaipara Oysters are organically certified under the stringent Asure Quality organic certification programme, which is accredited by International Federation Organic Agricultural Movement (IFOAM), one of the world’s leading organic organisations.
In addition, the farm and factory are fully approved by the world’s most exacting food safety and public health agencies, including the United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and the European Union (EU).
“Our oysters are exactly what many international markets have been calling for. They are premium shellfish intended for raw consumption yet they can be market leaders all over the world every week of the year because they offer all the convenience and flexibility of food frozen at source. Once defrosted they have no equal in terms of flavour, meat quality, presentation and safety,” said Kaipara Oysters’ chief oyster farmer Dan Dollimore.
“The secret to a perfect oyster is to present it in its peak condition but in most cases oysters are farmed a considerable distance from their end-consumer. To overcome this significant hurdle, we ‘snap-freeze’ our oysters at our neighbouring processing facility the moment they reach their peak condition, locking in all their wonderful natural flavours and healthy nutrients.
“By freezing our oysters the moment they reach peak condition we guarantee they can be consumed in their perfect state, enabling consumers to enjoy top class oysters regardless of the season,” he said.
Kaipara Oysters are presented frozen in the half shell and come with a long shelf-life. This ensures there is no waste and year-round availability. In contrast, live oysters, which are all subject to seasonal peaks, only have a limited shelf-life and generally a 10 per cent mortality.
Furthermore, it has been proven that buying frozen can reduce carbon footprints as fresh seafood often has to be flown daily around the world. Frozen oysters, however, can be transported over great distances much more carbon-effectively by sea because of their long shelf-life.
“I believe that the technology we have deployed and the sustainability benchmarks by which Kaipara Oysters abides have seen us create one of the tastiest, safest and most environmentally friendly oysters ever to reach the international market,” said Dan Dollimore.
Kaipara Oysters is a 2nd generation family-run aquaculture business. The vertically-integrated company established its roots in this field in the 1970s. It is now a thriving export-led business producing around four million oysters annually, of which more than 90 per cent are exported, and a major employer in the local area. It is internationally-regarded as a leading pioneer of sustainable oyster production.
The Kaipara site covers 76 hectares and is the only commercial operation allowed in the central harbour. When fully developed, Kaipara will be New Zealand’s largest farm, capable of producing more than 24 million oysters per year. This would increase New Zealand’s total current annual production by more than 40 per cent.
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