TOPS Oysters Consulting Ltd

63 Todds Bush Rd, RD1
Nelson 7071, New Zealand


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™, the Traceable Oysters Production System. Oysters individually grown on tags or their own label provide the highest  assurances of authenticity and provenance than any other sticker label on oysters or packaging can provide for. 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.

a6 tops tagged oyster

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.  Don Collier, from AFL (Aotearoa Fisheries Ltd, with oyster division Moana New Zealand), one of New Zealand’s leading aquaculture companies, provided the needed market intelligence.

After the fundamental technology was developed in New Zealand, TOPS Oysters™ Consulting Ltd was formed to refine and fine-tune the system’s core-elements for commercialization overseas.  Niklas Janke, equipped with some comprehensive knowledge and practical hands-on experience in oyster aquaculture, led this critical path of the TOPS Oysters™ technology fine-tuning and commercialization process.