Blueshell Mussels win award for strength in research and innovation Published: 21 September, 2009
A Shetland firm developing world-leading cultivation techniques to supply the finest quality mussels to leading restaurants and major supermarkets has received a prestigious prize.
The Highlands and Islands Enterprise Award for Excellence in Research and Innovation was presented to Blueshell Mussels, a family business formed in Shetland in 1997. It has since grown into the biggest rope grown mussel producer in the UK and is a key member of the Scottish Shellfish Marketing Group (SSMG). The company harvests 1,300 tonnes of mussels annually from its own sites and is currently investing £750,000 to increase production further.
Knowledge of the marine environments influences on product quality is central to its success, with Blueshell having developed unique cultivation techniques based around the mussels ability to feed naturally from the sea. Scottish mussels from SSMG have entered the accreditation process to become the first cultivated seafood to achieve Marine Stewardship Council (MSC) certification as a sustainable and well-managed resource. Their mussels are also undergoing accreditation for the prestigious Friends of the Sea certification standard.
The presentation was made by HSBCs chief executive officer for Scotland, John Rendall, at the Scottish Council for Development and Industrys 10th Highlands and Islands Annual Dinner and Business Excellence Awards, which attracted 350 guests from around the region.
Michael Laurenson, managing director, Blueshell Mussels, said: ‘I am delighted to accept this award on behalf of Blueshell Mussels. This award gives testimony to the sheer determination and drive of everyone in our team. To be part of a successful company is great, but to be recognised as a torch bearer worthy of this accolade is simply inexpressible. Our business trading us up 60 per cent year on year and I would like to encourage other businesses that even in a recession there are opportunities to grow through expansion and implementation of new procedures.’
Anne Murray, head of Enterprise Solutions, Highlands and Islands Enterprise (HIE), said: ‘Blueshell Mussels is an exemplar model for businesses in the region. It utilises the advantages of its outstanding natural environment to match modern customer demand and by investing in innovative production techniques it has been able to pursue an ambitious growth strategy. HIE is delighted to be recognising its success through sponsorship of this award.’