New Zealand Oysters by Jemco

JEMCO produces the Pacific Oyster, Crassostrea gigas

This species is not native to New Zealand, rather it was first introduced from Japan in the 1950's where, due to an ideal growing environment, it quickly established itself.

Since that time extensive research and experimentation have been conducted to fine tune the ideal growing and processing methods for producing quality New Zealand oysters packed under the JEMCO brand.

The basic process is as follows:

Wild caught Spat

Spat / Seed collected for JEMCO oysters are sourced from wild natural spat, during the summer months (Jan-March).

The spat / seed is collected by placing bundles of spat sticks in areas where the spat will naturally congregate.

The bundles of spat sticks are then distributed to JEMCO farms and nailed out individually on inter-tidal growing racks for approximately 12 to 18 months before harvesting.

Premium Inter-tidal New Zealand Oysters

JEMCO oysters are grown using the inter-tidal method as this has been found to produce the best quality product.

The use of inter-tidal racks produces a clean well shaped product, with a harder shell and a higher meat to shell ratio than other methods.

It is also ideal for live product as the growing method produces oysters with a very strong adductor muscle ensuring a good seal between the shells and allowing a minimum dry shelf life of 7 days.

( Some JEMCO oysters are grown using sub-tidal long lines. This practice is limited and generally used when smaller sizes are returned from on-shore grading for on-growing. )

Special care is taken to ensure that the density of oysters in each area is limited to ensure optimum growing conditions.

A Perfect New Zealand Oyster

Our priority is to produce a perfect New Zealand oyster rather than large numbers.

During the New Zealand autumn and winter (from April to December) mature JEMCO oysters are then harvested as required.

We utilise a labour intensive, selective farming method as this has proven to produce a superior product.

This pristine product is the quality packed for the JEMCO brand.

Naturally Grown JEMCO Oysters

The JEMCO farming process is dedicated to producing a wholesome, totally natural JEMCO oyster for consumers demanding the highest quality.

JEMCO farmers rigorously adhere to natural spat collection, growing and harvesting their oysters from the world's safest growing waters.

This is a direct opposite from the majority of the oyster farming operations in other countries where artificial practices have been developed, such as

The use of hatcheries to artificially produce oysters - including genetically modified triploid / tetraploid oysters
Depuration and post harvest disinfection to allow sale of oysters from polluted waters.

Our commitment at JEMCO to a completely natural oyster is a long term philosophy, which is gaining recognition as there is growing consumer concern with genetically modified foods and unsafe growing practices.

We take great pride in being recognised as an international leader in the production of natural oysters.

The Health Benefits of JEMCO Oysters

At JEMCO we are well aware that natural oysters are a source of health promoting minerals, including iodine and essential amino acids, which are poorly supplied by a normal diet of meat and vegetables.

Recent research has also shown more important health benefits of oysters, such as their serum cholesterol lowering ability. This is thought to be due to high taurine and hypotaurine levels.

In Japanese studies, this has been shown to have considerable positive effects on heart disease. In independent tests JEMCO oysters have been shown to register the highest hypotaurine levels ever recorded.

We see these results as an endorsement of our policy to only grow a completely natural product in the world's premier oyster growing environment.

Naturally Grown New Zealand Oysters
High quality growing waters

Which are continuously monitored for natural and other hazards
Grown in waters compromised by intense human activities

Often little or inadequate quality monitoring for pollution, microbiological dangers and algal biotoxins

Starts with naturally occurring spat selected over many years by nature to grow well and be healthy in our natural environment Spat produced by hatcheries after selection by the aquaculturist for features convenient for artificial cultivation rather than the health of the oysters

Oysters often treated with chemicals to induce spawning or to genetically alter the oysters (polyploids) to cause sterility and make the oysters fatter

Oysters are harvested from clean growing waters when naturally in peak condition

Processed immediately to allow freezing or shipping chilled within hours of harvest

No treatment is required to ensure a safe product
Oysters harvested from often potentially unsafe waters and treated (depurated) to reduce indicator bacteria and allow them to pass the usual microbiological tests

Depuration delays processing for several days after harvesting

Bacteria can be further reduced by chemical or pressure treatment after processing. Viruses and algal toxins remain a risk

Extremely fresh and safe

The oysters are completely free from chemical contamination, microbiological or algal hazards or genetic alteration
Oysters can be harvested many days before processing to allow for depuration increasing the amount of spoilage organisms

Virus and chemical hazards can be present and the effects of genetic manipulation are unknown in the long term