Welsh lobsters are on the menu at top chef Rick Stein’s restaurant group
Famous TV chef, Rick Stein has always been a huge champion of local producers. After reading about the post-Brexit related woes of one Welsh shellfish supplier, his restaurant company has stepped in to lend a helping hand.
Nerys Edwards of family business Syren Shellfish in Pembrokeshire has been exporting produce caught off the Pembrokeshire coast for three generations, but the company have lost a small fortune due to Brexit chaos at ports.
One shipment of live shellfish worth almost £50,000 was held up in Portsmouth for three days and then for a further seven hours in Caen, which meant £7,000 was stripped off its original value by the time it reached the market. And each shipment now costs an extra £450 and requires far more paperwork.
After spotting stories in the national press about the problems Syren were facing, Rick Stein’s son, Jack, who runs the Cornish based restaurant group, got in touch to see if the Haverfordwest-based company could become a regular supplier of live lobsters. Even though all restaurants are closed, Rick Stein runs a home-delivery service where lobsters are cooked and sold in their 'At Home' menu boxes, which are then sent out direct to local households in Cornwall.
“I messaged Syren on Facebook and said we'll take whatever you've got because we need it, and if you've got a shipment stuck at a port, call us anytime,” says Jack Stein.
Syren Shellfish has also been contacted by other British suppliers as a result of the publicity, and has been able to coordinate other deliveries on the way to Cornwall.
"It's very exciting," says Nerys. "We will see how it goes. We will still export to Europe but this will help when a shipment doesn't run. It all helps.
"It is also a lot less food miles so much more sustainable. If more shellfish goes into this country, that's wonderful. It's much more sustainable if we eat what we produce."
To find out more about Syren Shellfish, visit their facebook site here