The oyster extraction sector is mainly settled in traditional techniques and intensive labour and that is why Oysterworld, which positions itself as one of the most innovative in the sector in Portugal, is looking to use new technological methods which, not only will assure its competitiveness in a growing market, but also ensure better work conditions and a better product.
This project has a very positive social and environmental impact contributing to:
Sustainable production and consumption: Oyster farming has a positive impact in the marine environment, as it improves water quality by acting as a filter (a single oyster filters on average 55 litres of water a day), it reduces the need for extractive fishing and it does not interfere with the natural stocks.
Gender equality: the fishing labour sector is mainly occupied by men. This is mainly due to the low level of mechanization and automation that requires the use of strength. This project opens doors for hiring women. In fact, 50% of Oysterworld’s current employees are women.
Better working conditions: the tasks required for oyster production are physically challenging, often leading to injuries, skin burns, other wounds or physical exhaustion. The improvements brought by this technique will reduce the employees’ physical exhaustion, increasing their productivity. Also, the company pays salaries above the average within the sector.
Community sustainability: the people in the surrounding communities mostly work in seasonal jobs, connected to agriculture. Oyster production is supplying a steady job.
“This is a unique project that combines the positive environmental impact with the growth of a value-added industry, with potential for export and job creation in local communities", explains Nuno Brito Jorge, CEO of GoParity.
Oysterworld is a Portuguese company focusing on sustainable oyster production since 2013. The bivalves are exported mainly to Spain, France and the Netherlands.
In 2017, the company increased its production capacity by 400% (to 360 tonnes). Following this increase, Oysterworld decided to adopt a new innovative production method, tested and recognized in Australia. The new system requires an equipment called “Hexcyl Rotative Baskets” that will allow for the automatic oyster rotation on each tide and it will help the company expand its oyster production in Setúbal, where they own an area of 18 hectares. As well as this, the company is trying to fund solar panels and an energy generator, a warehouse and other equipment.
The project requires an overall investment of € 2 141 940, that will be implemented between 2019 and 2020. The company applied to MAR 2020, and was granted € 1 070 970 (50% non reimbursable). GoParity will be co-funding the remaining amount through eight crowdlending campaigns.
In December 2018, the company’s total assets were above 2,40M€ (1.8M€ in equity and 635.000€ in liabilities). Besides this, the project will generate the following benefits:
70% reduction in operating costs
Reduce the species’ breeding time
Improve the quality of the oyster
Increase the selling price as a consequence of the better product
With almost half of the necessary amount being funded by an outright grant programme, MAR2020, this represents a sound and secure investment.
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