How TOPS Oysters™ came about?
The idea of TOPS Oysters™ was born in New Zealand, a country with a small export oriented oyster industry that enjoys one of the world’s highest reputations for oyster quality and food safety. Some years ago, there was an uproar and scare within the oyster industry caused by reports of New Zealand oysters being subjected to counterfeiting. The potential losses to industry reputation and earnings were frightening. This sparked off the idea of TOPS Oysters™. Oysters grown on tags or on their individual label provide much better assurances of authenticity and provenance than labels on oyster packaging do. In a collaborative effort between scientists and key industry stake holders in production and marketing, the new oyster growing and marketing system, TOPS Oysters™, was developed.
Who is behind TOPS Oysters™?
Achim Janke, an industry-focused oyster researcher at the Cawthron Institute, developed the concept which immediately sparked interest within the shellfish industry. Assistance from the New Zealand government was obtained to develop TOPS Oysters™. Production technology and marketing research were carried out. TOPS Oysters™ can work efficiently with different degrees of mechanization. Aaron Pannell, who later set up one of New Zealand’s leading oyster companies, provided that essential break-through. AFL (Aotearoa Fisheries Ltd, with oyster division Moana New Zealand), one of New Zealand’s leading aquaculture companies, provided the market intelligence.
After the fundamental technology was developed in New Zealand, TOPS Oysters Consulting Ltd was formed to commercialize the technology overseas in countries where the system has patent protection.
- The Grower Article, April 2017 - Oyster innovation from New Zealand
- Achim Janke - Biosecurity Measures for OsHV-1 Control at Cawthron Aquaculture Park
- Moana New Zealand Website