CALL 01583 505002

Welcome to the River Roach Oyster Company’s website

Farming the land and sea for high quality products

The RROC specialises in providing top quality oysters from its centuries old shellfish lays in the River Roach in Essex. Providing oysters both to wholesale and retail customers, as well as selling 'half ware' (part grown) oysters to other growers. RROC still hand grades all market size oysters, ensuring a great quality, consistent product.

Now working over 2.5 hectares of sea bed surrounded by marshland including an RSPB nature reserve, RROC prides itself in having a very low impact on its surroundings. Being one of only a handful of oyster farms accessed only by water (no road access) helps the RROC to maintain its waters free of the associated pollutants of civilisation!

John Labbett, founder of RROC has many years experience in the shellfish industry and was previously an MMO appointee to Kent and Essex Inshore Fisheries and Conservation Authority. Having now stepped down from that role John is enjoying spending time on his passion which is attempting to restock UK Native Oysters (Ostrea Edulis) to the Thames Estuary in sufficient numbers to enable a fishery to flourish.

How We Grow Our Oysters

Fresh from the shellfish hatchery the oysters are placed in our nursery tank. They go from 1mm in length to 4mm in a month during the best of the growing season. The oysters are washed daily to stop any accumulated silt or detritus smothering them.

When the oysters are 3mm (we use very accurate hand sieves used under water to tell) we put them into the Floating Upweller System. This is really a bigger version of the nursery tank however one bin can hold thousands of oysters. These bins are checked daily and washed weekly and oysters can grow from 4mm up to 12mm within two months.

Once the oysters are around 6mm in length (dependant on time of year and space in the system) they are carefully placed into plastic mesh bags and are put into our Oyster Gro system.  During the growing season the cages are turned by us every two weeks and every two months the oysters are taken out and graded to stop larger oysters poaching feed from the smaller ones.

Some of the oysters will remain in the Oyster Gro system until they are of a harvest size, some are put on our remaining trestles whilst others are put on the ground.  When the oysters are large enough to harvest they are hand graded and individually checked for damage, they are then washed and sent in trays to our state of the art purification centre where they are held in UV treated, temperature controlled seawater for a minimum of 42 hours. This allows the shellfish to purge any impurities and makes them safer to eat.

These oysters will be around two to three years old. Our purification system is tested regularly and is passed by the local environmental health team.

Click here to listen to our latest radio interview.

Thank you for visiting our website, please visit our other site for how to buy from us and learn more about our company: Labbett Family Farms Ltd