We all know how hard it is to run a successful aquaculture business.
Everyone else seems to be enjoying a regular 9 – 5 but you’re tied to the tides, out in all weathers and carrying out hard physical work week after week. The upsides are obvious of course; you’re your own boss, answerable to no-one, working outdoors in the fresh air and knowing that your product is sustainable, healthy and having a positive impact on the environment.
But no man (or woman!) is an expert at every element of running a business and sometimes it can be helpful to delegate elements of your work and free up your time to allow you to get back to the business of growing oysters.
The majority of oysters in Ireland are sold through a trader because it lets you (the grower) focus on what you do best…farming oysters. If you don’t enjoy chasing sales, arranging transport, delivering product, dealing with customer service, and handling endless paperwork then why not consider working with a trader? This is what we do, day in, day out, and we’re good at it too!
What kind of farms don’t need a trader?
If you’re starting out and are planning to sell locally in small batches to restaurants or shops then you may be able to work on your own but it’s a difficult job to make a living at this level. However, once you decide to scale up your sales then you need to get your product to different geographies – and for that you will definitely benefit from working with a trader. An international trader has a greater reach and deals with both domestic and foreign markets.
What is the trader’s role?
A good trader acts as your own sales & marketing team. They are constantly active in the market, building relationships, identifying potential customers, talking to growers and staying up to date with their needs and challenges. A good Shellfish Trader always has their finger on the pulse of what sells, where it sells, and the price it sells for. And when you work with them all that information is available for you to tap into.
What makes Triskell Seafood so successful as a trader?
We’ve been working as a Shellfish Trader for over 20 years, changing and adapting to match the changes in the marketplace. Some of the growers we buy from have been suppliers of ours since those early years and that commitment to building long-term relationships is central to how we do business. With a professional interest in an oyster farm ourselves we know the vagaries of this business, we know how hard you work and we are determined to get the best price possible for your product. And because so many of our suppliers are also customers of our equipment and clothing ranges, we are doubly invested in ensuring that when you are ready to sell, we have the right buyer for your product.
How are Triskell securing those sales?
We all know that currently the biggest markets for oysters are in France and Holland. We have extensive partnerships built up over many years in both these areas and regularly attend trade shows abroad to foster these relationships and to identify new customers for Irish product. We advertise in foreign trade journals and have been featured in the premier French trade magazine Cultures Marines who contact us regularly for comment on the situation with growers in Ireland (it doesn’t hurt that we speak fluent French! 🙂 ).
In 2021 we also launched our new Seafood Online Sales Portal which allows us to upload details of all batches of shellfish which our suppliers have let us know are available to harvest. Buyers abroad are able to create an account on the portal which allows them to express an interest directly in any batch, or selection of batches. This means that your product is online and in front of customers 24/7 until it is sold and we are actively marketing for you even while you sleep!
How does the relationship with a trader work?
This industry more than most is built on trust and communication. We can’t sign a contract with you to buy a pallet of you every week any more than you could commit to supplying a pallet every week. But let us know what you have, and when you’ll have it, send us photos of your oysters and keep us informed of delays when they happen, and we will work tirelessly to find a buyer for you. It really is that simple
We will always endeavour to get the best price for your oysters. We deal in bulk so that we can keep the margins as tight as possible, ensuring that your product is competitively priced. We look for feedback from customers on every shellfish delivery so that we can feed that back to you. That feedback allows you to improve and match your product to the market, and ultimately grow your sales.
Keep doing what you’re doing! Grow a great oyster, run an efficient operation, stay up to date with changing practices in the industry. Reach out to us. You want to get the best return possible for your time and investment, and we want that too. We think Irish oysters might just be the best oysters in the world, we’d love to showcase yours!