The mussel seed is born in important nature areas, which is why fishing takes place in accordance with strict regulations. Mussel seed, the raw material for mussel cultivation, fluctuates in quantity from year to year.
The mussel (Mytilis edulis) is a bi-valve shellfish. They grow in different regions, such as tidal sand bars and permanently submerged sand bars. They also like to attach to hard surfaces or ropes in the water. These different environments have a strong effect on the structure of the shells. Mussels that grow on tidal sand bars generally have stronger shells than mussels hanging on ropes.
Mussels have been cultivated in Dutch waters for more than 150 years. The two cultivation areas are National Park Oosterschelde and the Wadden Sea – a combined area of approximately 6000 hectares.
The Wadden Sea has the most mussel plots and is also the best suited to cultivation due to the strong tidal flow, which carries a large quantity of nutrients. However, the dynamic characteristics mean that the yield from the Wadden Sea is less consistent than that of the Oosterschelde. Mussels can be lost in bad weather. Storms and predation by crabs and starfish can significantly affect quantities in the Wadden Sea, while the conditions in the Oosterschelde are greatly stabilised by the flood barrier.
The fresh mussels stand out because of their origin. The mussels are originated from the pure and food-rich waters of the Oosterschelde and the Wadden Sea.
The mussels are selected on their size after an accurate dilution process. The Extra, Super, Imperial, Jumbo or Goudmerk mussels are packed in solid sealed boxes or in jute bags.
In addition to the BRC certification, which highlights the safety of production processes, our growers and processing companies has also been rewarded for its environmental friendliness and sustain- ability. This is reflected in both their MSC certification as well as the Euro Leaf certification from the European Union.
The growers and processing companies we work with, holds a Marine Stewardship Council (MSC) Chain of Custody Standard certificate. MSC is an independent, international non-profit organization that aims to reduce overfishing throughout the world. The MSC stand- ards comply with the toughest practical criteria in the world and help the fish markets to move over to sustainable fishing.
The European Union has taken action against the unofficial growth in certification for organic products. This has resulted in an umbrella quality mark, namely the ‘Euro Leaf ’ bio- certificate. This is only awarded to companies that meet the strict requirements established by the European Union and extensively tested by SKAL.