Since 1986, premium Clevedon Coast Oysters have been grown in the clean clear waters of the Hauraki Gulf, with a farming process dedicated to cultivating, harvesting, and processing only the juiciest, ripest, fresh natural oysters for consumers who demand the highest quality.
Clevedon Coast Oysters was established with one oyster farm at Kauri Bay and five staff by father and son team John and Callum McCallum.
The McCallum family had first arrived on Pakihi Island on the Clevedon Coast from Scotland in 1892, making Callum the fourth generation of the family in the area.
Callum had embarked on a career as a sheep shearer, and was keen to get into farming for himself.
Due to land prices and availability, agriculture was soon seen to be an unviable option for the area, and since the family was very attached to the region, they looked to the sea as an option to stay put and still farm.
Today Clevedon Coast Oysters employs 45 staff and in addition to the original Kauri Bay farm there are also farms on Waiheke Island and in Northland.
The factory was developed in the 1990s and is USFDA, EU, Japanese Ministry of Food approved, and certified organic.
Clevedon Coast Oysters spokesperson Sinead Gill says what hasn’t changed in the company’s 30 years of producing oysters is its commitment to cultivate, harvest, and process only the juiciest, ripest, fresh natural oysters for its c onsumers.
The process begins with natural spat collection and there are no non-organic inputs in this process or genetic modification of the oysters in any way.
The farms are low density and are positioned to minimise siltation and maximise current flow to allow the oysters to feed to their potential.
In addition to the organic processes used in the production of the oysters, the growing waters and oysters are independently tested weekly for any contamination or health issues.
This is something Clevedon Coast Oysters considers a vital part of ensuring the best possible product for their customers.
“We like the rigorous testing of the waters and oysters because we like to send out the best possible product,” Sinead says.
Clevedon Coast Oysters is exporting to Australia, Asia, America and continuing to develop more export opportunities.
In New Zealand, Clevedon Coast Oysters products are distributed throughout the North and South Islands through various distributors, supermarkets, retail outlets, and the factory shop.
The company is growing its farming production constantly, and is looking at going into partnership with local Iwi to establish new farms.
Production has been steadily rising and this year growth is expected to be about 15% more than last year.
Other plans for the future include expansion into fin fishing, in particular Hapuka and King Fish.
This summer will see the arrival of a food trailer at the factory shop and events around the country which will serve a selection of oyster culinary delights.