The state of international mussel exports

Fresh raw mussels seashell sale on shelf in the local market

At EP Seafoods, we’re experts at harvesting the highest quality of Australian blue mussels. But with the global health crisis still impacting the seafood industry, it’s no surprise that our international export of mussels has also been affected.

Yet despite the challenges that we face, EP Seafoods is committed to producing Australia’s finest quality mussels.

We’re continuing to meet every hurdle by promoting our traditional mussel farming techniques with the latest technology, and by marketing our sweet, fresh ocean flavoured mussels across supermarkets and retail.

Mussels on the rocks

Tough times ahead for mussel exports

Australia’s food export of traditionally strong-performing products such as mussels have taken hits due to the global pandemic, as well as weakened demands from key international markets.

As the situation changes on an almost daily basis and the future is looking more uncertain than ever before, EP Seafoods’ Executive Director, Andrew Puglisi, shares how the pandemic has affected EP Seafoods’ export of mussels.

Andrew says, “Since COVID-19 started, our export sales went down to 60%. In countries such as Hong Kong and China, they cover up to 35% of our export. So, it has been a very challenging period for us.

The lockdowns in Hong Kong, Singapore, Bangkok, UAE, Japan and Korea have also shut down their food services, making it very difficult to maintain sales in those primary export markets.”

Andrew says that as the international export market faces low numbers, EP Seafoods is focusing on promoting local consumption and supporting retail supermarkets.

“We’re trying to sell our mussels much more in retail, as we’re seeing more demand for a higher quality product. We’ve been able to maintain that market share, which is great. It has certainly kept us going.”

Mussels with herbs in a bowl with lemon and French fries

Promoting local consumption

Although the international export market is looking bleak, not every country is completely frozen shut. Our sweet mussels are also available at local supermarkets and specialty seafood stores around Australia, enjoyed across millions of plates.

And as restaurants in Australia are slowly opening their doors again for sit-down customers, the local demand is rising for fresh blue mussels.

“We’re seeing great success across different restaurants nationally, especially for our Kinkawooka Shellfish mussels. Chefs prefer the quality of our Kinkawooka Shellfish mussels, as they’re the perfect size for delicious recipes and are super easy to cook with,” says Andrew.

Restaurants like Clancy’s Fish Pub and LoLuk Bistro find that our mussels are right at home on their menus. And we’re so proud to see our customers enjoy the same delicious taste of a freshly harvested mussel at home or at a restaurant… no matter where you live in Australia.

Steamed mussels in white wine sauce

Setting the example for sustainability

While the world faces the challenges of COVID-19, we’re still committed to maintaining an environmentally friendly approach to all our operations.

All of our premium mussels are certified organic. That means they meet the National Association for Sustainable Agriculture Australia’s (NASAA) Organic and Biodynamic Standard.

This covers the entire organic supply chain – from input manufacturers, producers and processors to wholesale and retail operations – ensuring organic integrity ‘from paddock to plate’.

Fresh sea mussels in a copper bowl

Boosting the industry moving forward

The future of mussel exports is by no means guaranteed, especially with the global health crisis still affecting many countries around the world. But Andrew believes that the lessons learned throughout these turbulent times will help them move forward.

“Even though vaccines are slowly being distributed, we anticipate that COVID-19 will still impact our industry for another 12 months, possibly even longer.

But the pandemic has taught us valuable lessons about interruption of supply and it has made us more resilient,” says Andrew.

“You simply can’t beat Australian blue mussels. Our mussels are the envy of mussel farmers around the world. When you buy mussels from EP Seafoods, you’ll get the best Australia has to offer.

We are constantly monitoring our mussel crop, checking for optimum condition, flavour and texture. Our team of experienced mussel farmers won’t accept anything less than perfect. We’re committed to ensuring our mussels offer quality you can trust,” Andrew adds.

Enjoy ocean fresh Australian mussels at your home

The next time you are at your local supermarket or specialty seafood retailer, look for our premium mussel brands – Kinkawooka Shellfish and Boston Bay Mussels – on the shelf.

When you purchase our premium brands you can enjoy your seafood knowing that the mussels you are eating are Aussie grown.