La Belle de Penerf is an oyster farm located in southern Brittany, in Morbihan (France).
Laurent Thomas, the manager, is a traditional oyster farmer. Its particularity is to produce natural diploid oysters born at sea, and there are few of them in Brittany.
For several years, new varieties have entered the market of oysters, hatchery triploids and diploids, oysters made in laboratories with antibiotics. This process allows a higher yield, but it has been observed for several years an increasing oyster mortality. This event does not “normally” present a health risk, but we may be concerned about the question “Will there still be oysters in 2050?”
Regarding the La Belle de Penerf breeding process, the spat is collected in its natural state and not from a hatchery – on the contrary, its oysters are born and raised at sea, respectful of a natural environment.
The farm is a long way from very significant returns – it takes between 3 and 4 years to obtain a salable oyster! – but Laurent obtains an oyster which has a taste and ecologically healthy quality, far from standardization.
Laurent and Sylvie, his partner, work mainly on the short supply chain, in the markets, with a few restaurateurs and at fairs (including Terra Madre in Turin and Slow Fish in Genoa).
Since last summer, they have opened their tasting terrace in order to showcase their production and chat directly with their customers on their way of working.