Food & Drink
Richard Williams knows about Welsh seafood’s global pull. He oversaw the sourcing of whelks, for export to Korea, from the coast of Amlwch, Nefyn and Caernarfon Bay as managing director of Bay Seafoods of Holyhead before the renaming of the brand to WM Shellfish – a title perhaps more reflective of worldwide appetite from countries including Dubai, South Korea and China.
“We aim to process as much seafood as possible that is caught around Anglesey,” says Williams, whose passion for produce comes from more than 30 years in the business. “What sets us aside from other companies is, I think, that we are probably the only scallop queen processor in north Wales, and probably the whole of Wales.”
King and queen scallops, lobster and brown crab are also in demand from an overseas market that makes up as much as 80% of their turnover, nurtured during repeat visits to the European Seafood Exposition in Brussels, strong initiatives with Welsh Government and partners in England.
“We have been able to show what we have to sell to Europe, so people can see that Wales is an important supplier of good quality seafood,” says Williams. “Our local wholesale business here on the island and in north Wales is also very important to us.”
The development of a state-of-the-art filtration system has been a key part of their success, and Williams now hopes to expand the facilities at Holyhead, grow the current workforce of 16 staff and gain support from the Menter Mon and FLAG initiatives.
“We’re proud of what we’ve built and where we are in the market,” he says. “Our future hopes are to develop a processing side, add value and go into new markets in Europe and Asia with this Welsh product that we’re proud to be selling.”