Producing mussels for Tesco on the Isle of Mull

 

Rob Mitchell: Hi, I'm Rob Mitchell, I'm the commercial director for Scottish Shellfish and today we're on the beautiful island of Mull.

Douglas Wilson: I'm Douglas Wilson; we are a family business who operate the mussel farm here. We've been going for 25, maybe more, years; we've always been a fishing business.

Rob Mitchell: The company's run by the member farmers who produce the product, send it to our factory where we process it and get it ready for the supermarkets.

Douglas Wilson: The mussel eggs are hatched in the late winter, early spring. They're then free swimming in the sea for several weeks. After that, they're looking for somewhere to land and live and that's when they hopefully will settle on our ropes which we put out in round about May usually. After that, we have to wait till about August before we see any signs that we have caught the mussels. Hopefully that works well and two years later, the mussels are ready to harvest and send out to the distributor.

Rob Mitchell: Scottish Shellfish have been supplying Tesco for around 10 years. We supply them with around a thousand tonnes made up of product on the counter, which is live mussels, and also the mussels with sauces in the pre-packed section.

Douglas Wilson: The water here is A grade; there's very few houses, there are very few people so it's good for growing mussels and also it's local jobs and that keeps the schools open.

When friends come we'll have a big pot of mussels in the middle of the table; it's a very social food. It's hard to make a bad job of cooking mussels. It can be so simple and hopefully people will keep wanting to buy mussels.

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