Shellfish firm in finals of BBC award

A GREEN-friendly award-winning Exmouth seafood company has been shortlisted for this year s prestigious BBC Radio 4 s tenth Food and Farming Awards.

A GREEN-friendly award-winning Exmouth seafood company has been shortlisted for this year's prestigious BBC Radio 4's tenth Food and Farming Awards.

The Exmouth Mussel Company, based at The Pierhead, who previously scooped four gold medals at the last Taste of the West Awards, has made it into the final of The Best Food Producer award - and know hope to make an impact on the national stage.

The company, who joined forces with Natural England and other producers in the Exe Estuary Spring Clean up to clear old Oyster racks from the estuary bed, was founded by Lisa and Myles Blood-Smyth in 2001.

Working from their base on Exmouth Docks, this small innovative company has developed unique equipment to farm the fast flowing River Exe.

Mr Blood-Smyth said: "I've been listening and educated by Radio 4 for 30 years and to be rang up by the food editor to tell us we were on the short list - well I was amazed.

"We are not in it to be millionaires, we are in it to make a living and we work in harmony with other producers, and are proud that we have a symbiotic relationship with the environment."

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They have been shortlisted alongside The Somerset Cider Brandy Company, and Trealy Farm Charcuterie in Monmouth and among the judges will be top chef Raymond Blanc.

Asked if he thought they had a chance Myles said: "We are the underdogs. If they are looking for an end product there are lots of companies who could win.

"But if they are looking for a whole ethos, which knowing Radio 4 is a possibility, then maybe we are in with a shout.

"I'm not one to get very nervous but let's just say that I have a certain degree of enthusiasm."

The judges are visiting this week and he added: "Just to be mentioned on Radio 4 is an achievement- I'll cook up some mussels and see what they think."

The awards take place on Wednesday November 25 at BBC Broadcasting House and Raymond Blanc said: "In every category you will find people who are not only passionate about food and farming but are also helping people in Britain to re-connect with their food. These awards are important because they offer a rare chance to recognise the hard work and dedication involved in producing incredible food."