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12th Annual Ronald C. Baird Sea Grant Science Symposium
November 14, 2013
The Future of Shellfish in Rhode Island
Agenda
(in 15 minutes)

1) Introduction
2) The Challenges of Selling Local
3) How Foley Fish Markets Shellfish
4) What Foley Fish Values in a Vendor

2
FOLEY FISH
Family Owned and Focused for Four Generations

•
•
•

Full service, primary processor of fresh seafood
Only ship direct to the end user (hotels, restaurants, clubs, schools & specialty retail)
Customers in 40 states, Bermuda, and the Caribbean
Foley Shellfish Statistics
1) At any given time we handle:






12 Varieties of Oysters
6 Varieties of Mussels
All sizes of hardshell clams
Soft-shell Clams & Razor Clams

2) Virtually all of our sourcing is from New England and
the Canadian Maritime Provinces
3) Every business day ( on avg) we sell:  140 bags of Oysters

 120 bags of Mussels
 80 bags of hard-shell clams

4) We do not wet store (tank) any shellfish inventory

4
2013 BAIRD SEA GRANT SCIENCE SYMPOSIUM

Challenges of Selling Local
Local Farm to Local Table

•

Can the local table offer stable, sustained, year round demand?

•

Are there enough local tables?

•

Do the local tables pay promptly?

•

Are there too many local farmers all looking for a spot at the table?

•

Are you prepared to jump every time the dinner bell rings?

•

Are you willing to set up your own tables?

•

Is it possible that a table in Singapore or Shanghai might value
your shellfish more than the local table?

5
2013 BAIRD SEA GRANT SCIENCE SYMPOSIUM

Evaluating Shellfish – What Does Foley Fish Look For?












Quality of Harvest Area / Environment
Uniformity of Size
Cleanliness of Shell
Meat to Shell Ratio
Salinity / Taste
Logistics – time out of water
Availability – Harvest Season
Commitment of the Farmers
Record Keeping
Blue Hill Bay at Sunrise
Name
Price
6
2013 BAIRD SEA GRANT SCIENCE SYMPOSIUM

Tell the Role of the Vintner - Shell fisherman











Farmed or Wild Seed
Grown out with upwellers?
Racks or Ocean Floor?
Time in the Beds – Sizing?
Winter Storage?
Tumbled – Cup Shape?
Method of Harvest?
Different Culls?
Washing Method?
Processing - Purged?

What makes your product
different? better?
7
2013 BAIRD SEA GRANT SCIENCE SYMPOSIUM








Highlight environmental attributes…
shallow water cover, with ample sunlight penetration
8-10 foot tidal movement delivers nutrients and removes waste, twice daily
the harbor has no commercial or industrial development
75% of the land surrounding the harbor is conservation protected
the natural geography creates a tidal swirling effect moving through the
area, constantly reintroducing nutrients
the bay is naturally high in salinity

8
2013 BAIRD SEA GRANT SCIENCE SYMPOSIUM

Points of Differentiation:







Full traceability from premium
hatchery seed stock
Oysters moved during grow out
for maximum nutrients
Last year of grow-out done in
raised mesh bags for a cleaner
oyster
Graded before shipping for
uniformity of sizing
Purged for cleanliness

9
WAWENOC OYSTERS
2013 BAIRD SEA GRANT SCIENCE SYMPOSIUM

SeaTrace QR code technology

11
2013 BAIRD SEA GRANT SCIENCE SYMPOSIUM

Characteristics of Foley’s Best Shellfish Vendors
 They have a passion for what they do
 They are willing to share their knowledge – educate
 They are always striving to improve the product
 They run their operations as businesses, not a hobby


They are good communicators – in real time

12
2013 BAIRD SEA GRANT SCIENCE SYMPOSIUM

Keys to Customer Retention
(as espoused by Frank Foley)

Pick a business model and stick with it
Try not to overpromise
Grow your business gradually
Telegraph any price changes
Get to know your customers’ business
Don’t compete with your best customers
(keep a level playing field in all markets)

13

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Shellfish Future RI Symposium

  • 1. 12th Annual Ronald C. Baird Sea Grant Science Symposium November 14, 2013 The Future of Shellfish in Rhode Island
  • 2. Agenda (in 15 minutes) 1) Introduction 2) The Challenges of Selling Local 3) How Foley Fish Markets Shellfish 4) What Foley Fish Values in a Vendor 2
  • 3. FOLEY FISH Family Owned and Focused for Four Generations • • • Full service, primary processor of fresh seafood Only ship direct to the end user (hotels, restaurants, clubs, schools & specialty retail) Customers in 40 states, Bermuda, and the Caribbean
  • 4. Foley Shellfish Statistics 1) At any given time we handle:     12 Varieties of Oysters 6 Varieties of Mussels All sizes of hardshell clams Soft-shell Clams & Razor Clams 2) Virtually all of our sourcing is from New England and the Canadian Maritime Provinces 3) Every business day ( on avg) we sell:  140 bags of Oysters  120 bags of Mussels  80 bags of hard-shell clams 4) We do not wet store (tank) any shellfish inventory 4
  • 5. 2013 BAIRD SEA GRANT SCIENCE SYMPOSIUM Challenges of Selling Local Local Farm to Local Table • Can the local table offer stable, sustained, year round demand? • Are there enough local tables? • Do the local tables pay promptly? • Are there too many local farmers all looking for a spot at the table? • Are you prepared to jump every time the dinner bell rings? • Are you willing to set up your own tables? • Is it possible that a table in Singapore or Shanghai might value your shellfish more than the local table? 5
  • 6. 2013 BAIRD SEA GRANT SCIENCE SYMPOSIUM Evaluating Shellfish – What Does Foley Fish Look For?            Quality of Harvest Area / Environment Uniformity of Size Cleanliness of Shell Meat to Shell Ratio Salinity / Taste Logistics – time out of water Availability – Harvest Season Commitment of the Farmers Record Keeping Blue Hill Bay at Sunrise Name Price 6
  • 7. 2013 BAIRD SEA GRANT SCIENCE SYMPOSIUM Tell the Role of the Vintner - Shell fisherman           Farmed or Wild Seed Grown out with upwellers? Racks or Ocean Floor? Time in the Beds – Sizing? Winter Storage? Tumbled – Cup Shape? Method of Harvest? Different Culls? Washing Method? Processing - Purged? What makes your product different? better? 7
  • 8. 2013 BAIRD SEA GRANT SCIENCE SYMPOSIUM       Highlight environmental attributes… shallow water cover, with ample sunlight penetration 8-10 foot tidal movement delivers nutrients and removes waste, twice daily the harbor has no commercial or industrial development 75% of the land surrounding the harbor is conservation protected the natural geography creates a tidal swirling effect moving through the area, constantly reintroducing nutrients the bay is naturally high in salinity 8
  • 9. 2013 BAIRD SEA GRANT SCIENCE SYMPOSIUM Points of Differentiation:      Full traceability from premium hatchery seed stock Oysters moved during grow out for maximum nutrients Last year of grow-out done in raised mesh bags for a cleaner oyster Graded before shipping for uniformity of sizing Purged for cleanliness 9
  • 11. 2013 BAIRD SEA GRANT SCIENCE SYMPOSIUM SeaTrace QR code technology 11
  • 12. 2013 BAIRD SEA GRANT SCIENCE SYMPOSIUM Characteristics of Foley’s Best Shellfish Vendors  They have a passion for what they do  They are willing to share their knowledge – educate  They are always striving to improve the product  They run their operations as businesses, not a hobby  They are good communicators – in real time 12
  • 13. 2013 BAIRD SEA GRANT SCIENCE SYMPOSIUM Keys to Customer Retention (as espoused by Frank Foley) Pick a business model and stick with it Try not to overpromise Grow your business gradually Telegraph any price changes Get to know your customers’ business Don’t compete with your best customers (keep a level playing field in all markets) 13