Saturday, 15 August 2009

Spring Bay Seafood mussels

Rita had a wonderful day of discoveries yesterday.

First stop of the day was to the CSIRO where Dr Karl Kruszelnicki (ABC science wiz) was guest speaker at the announcement of this year’s Department of Economic Development’s ©-STAR Award which recognises a Tasmanian science and technology company or individual, for its early success in commercialising a science and technology product, process or service during the 2008-09 year.

Judges looked for entries that demonstrated a technology’s clear commercial potential and were particularly interested in those that can demonstrate progress has already been made towards commercialisation, although this was not essential.

This is because the Tasmanian Government “is searching for innovators who not only have a promising innovation, but also the drive to commercialise it.”
The 2008 winner was Spring Bay Seafoods (SBS) “for its unique method for packaging live chilled Tasmanian mussels. The mussels are kept alive and fresh in a specially designed oxygen-rich atmosphere for nine days from their harvest date. This enables the mussels to stay fresh for longer, improving customer satisfaction and distributor convenience.

©-STAR Award judges were impressed with Spring Bay Seafood’s investment in R & D and the company’s work to achieve rapid sales growth and market penetration since the product was launched in 2008.

Spring Bay Seafoods has since gone on to win the coveted ‘Friend of the Sea’ global award in 2009 for the aquaculture category, being the first shellfish company in the world to win the award for its best practices and contribution to working with an ecologically friendly and sustainable marine habitat.”

In plain English, what I took from all the above is that SBS have very cleverly developed the container in which you buy your Spring Bay mussels as a mini-ecosystem for the mussels whereby the expiry date on the label of the pack is 9 days after their harvesting and packaging date. This means that the little suckers are actually alive and as fresh as the day they were packaged when you buy them in those little black, supermarket-y looking plastic trays topped with plastic cling-wrap stuff!

I frequently pop down to Barilla Bay and buy myself a pack of the Spring Bay mussels and a dozen oysters, but never knew that the mussel packs were anything special or different! Now I do, and was extremely impressed. I have also seen them in their SBS packaging at Mures.

I spoke with Phil Lamb, Managing Director of SBS, after the awards. He is of the opinion that we still retain the old fishmongers mentality here, and that we feel we should buy our mussels loose thus ensuring freshness. With SBS’ methods, you are, in fact, way better off buying them in the SBS packs as described above. There’s no way your mussels then won’t be at their optimum.

By the way - Dr Karl’s talk was fantastic. Not only is he a great, entertaining and intelligent speaker but his account of his recent family walking trek covering what sounded like hundreds of kms across Spain was riveting, and seemed like something everyone should be forced to do at some stage of their lives – a big call from Rita who, it has to be admitted, is the laziest person in Tasmania!

To be continued…..

Posted on by Rita


steve said...

Hi Rita-2009 could officially be named as 'The Year of Spring Bay Seafoods' dont you reckon?!
When I first got here Phil Lamb was on of the first people I got to know in the industry. He is a forward thinking, big picture kinda bloke, immensely helpful & a great bloke to boot so his successes are well deserved.

Anonymous said...

I dont know, plastic packaging, lots of handling and found the Mussels to be small and not much meat. think I'd rather buy mine loose