Tom Haward Profile picture
21 Feb, 10 tweets, 2 min read
The phrase, ‘EU shellfish ban,’ keeps being used by news outlets and it’s important to understand how this language is misleading and how Government is deliberately using misinformation to hide from its own failures...
As a producer of live animals (oysters) who sells them on for human consumption, there are, quite rightly, rigorous standards we must meet to ensure what we sell is safe for people to eat. One of the most important factors in this process...
is the issue of water quality. If water quality is really poor (high amounts of sewage or rubbish dumped), animals like oysters will absorb the dangerous bacteria and make them unsafe to harvest. There are 3 grades of water quality for shellfish production
Grades, A, B & C. These grades were determined through when we were part of the EU. Simply, grade A waters are excellent and you don’t have to purify shellfish from these waters (some of our waters where we grow out oysters are A).
Grade B water means shellfish has to be purified before it can be sold for human consumption; most waters in the UK are B. The purpose of the grades is to ensure we use due diligence in our treatment of shellfish. It’s not a perfect system but it works...
As part of a large multi-country community we were effectively able to sell grade B shellfish unpurified to our neighbours where they would perform the process of purification before selling it on. Ideal if you harvested shellfish but didn’t have a purification centre...
At least 2 years ago I noticed (along with others in industry) that if we were no longer part of the EU then as a 3rd country our food standards would no longer align, legally, and we wouldn’t be able to export grade B, unpurified shellfish...
This was raised with government figures as a major concern. It was obviously ignored. We (the UK) helped establish these EU regulations to have a consistent approach for easy, free flowing trade of shellfish. I said a no deal or equivalent would result
in this catastrophe if it wasn’t looked at. George Eustace is lying when he says it was a surprise and when it is being peddled as an ‘overnight ban’. When he was fisheries minister he was aware of these worries. If I saw this coming then Johnson, et al should have...
The UK helped write the regulations government are now claiming they have been side swiped by. We are in this mess because those elected to serve us were too lazy and arrogant to read the small print because they wanted adulation without the work. END

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More from @HawardTom

28 Feb
A number of people are suggesting myself and others in the shellfish industry have been lazy, stupid (or both) for not being ‘prepared’ for the carnage Brexit has caused on the shellfish export industry. If we predicted this, why weren’t we ready?
Many small shellfish businesses don’t have the money needed to build a depuration plant. £100k cost for a small plant wouldn’t provide the depuration capacity some companies need. Add a zero to their costs to reach capacity levels. If they did have the investment...
They probably don’t have the land to build on. Ideally you need your plant close to where you harvest your shellfish. Where I live the land is under marine protection making it a mountain to climb if you wanted to build on it. If you do have the money and land...
Read 9 tweets
23 Feb
George Eustice was being deceptive on TV. I have read the Fisheries section of the TCA and undepurated shellfish export isn’t mentioned. This omission means the UK would abide by current EU regulations if it isn’t in Exit Legislation...
Eustice claims the EU “said” there wouldn’t be an issue with exports like it was an agreement they had whilst chatting over a pint. And he said they said there are Export Health Certificates which would cover unpurified bivalves...
He is either lying or ignorant. The only EHC which covers bivalves specifies they need to be purified or fit for human consumption. There’s no ambiguity on this certificate...
Read 6 tweets
13 Feb
Brexit is impacting every aspect to our business in very significant ways. We usually buy wooden boxes from France (pictured) as they are robust, look good and are the traditional choice for packaging oysters...
Massive complications have emerged though in trying to import boxes in 2021. The haulier who usually transports them can only get customs clearance in France. We would need to find an agent in the UK to do UK clearance. But...
This haulier (who has many years experience) had no suggestion who we could approach to obtain import clearance. Clearances alone will add £200 to the cost of getting these boxes. Plus...
Read 6 tweets

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