Fal Fishery Cooperative CIC (Community Interest Company) – 2024 Trustees
In 2024, the CIC is seeking between two and five new trustees who will become non-executive directors of the well-established not-for-profit organisation, which is ‘limited by guarantee and not by shareholdings’.
However, as our activities do not generate a great deal of sales income, we do rely on funding, whether that be the local community via Crowdfunder support, or whether it be scientific research or community or innovation funding, either way there is always a significant amount of time required to explore the funding landscape, make applications in what is often a short time frame, and deliver/monitor/report projects that are successfully supported.
There is a vast landscape of funding out there and in all honesty, we believe that the CIC is addressing a great many challenges that the funders like to see, whether that is reducing carbon emissions, or protecting marine species, or improving the local community’s chance of survival in these difficult cost of living times. We have had some great support, but we haven’t always managed to get the point across well enough to succeed in some applications, and we know we could have a much higher success rate, just because of what we do being so important in so many ways
We have been outreaching to primary schools, secondary education centres, universities and even post graduate/doctorate researchers, but again this doesn’t necessarily generate any income, it does however provide excellent resources and a venue for potential eco-therapy for those struggling with everyday life, in return for looking after Mother Nature’s natural but fragile marine habitats.
One of the greatest challenges in recent years, is the unlawful pollution of our waters by disrespectful water companies, and while the constant news headlines will hopefully lead to prosecutions and eventually a much cleaner marine environment for future generations, it is a monumental mountain to climb to achieve that. We would therefore expect any prospective trustees to feel passionate about everything we believe in, and for you have the spare time and expertise to assist in making sure we are supported financially for years to come.
We have had some excellent coverage of the work we do, including: BBC Countryfile and Rick Steins Cornwall, ITV’s Julia Bradbury Walks Devon & Cornwall as well as local and national coverage in the news. But almost all of this has been achieved because of the dedicated work of just one individual, and it really is time to seek some help to ensure all the effort is the foundation for much better things, both for the planet and the people.
Finally, we would gratefully encourage anyone, with a background in education, marine research, funding applications, finance, social media, and working afloat, to apply. We also encourage those from the local communities, Mylor/Falmouth/Cornwall/Southwest/UK but are very open to those based further afield, as different time zones do provide longer working hours in the 24hr day, and much of our work is administration that can easily be done from home.
The CIC was incorporated in 2019 to bridge the gap between the unique heritage hand, sail & oar industry, and the missing scientific data evidence, that is needed to protect the critically endangered species and the fragile marine habitat, which is required by the regulatory authority before any management policy review.
In 2020-21, yep during the unprecedented pandemic, we successfully raised a little over £20,000 to set up a hatchery and microalgae lab, known as ‘SavingESTER’ (Ester being Cornish for oyster). In 2022 that hatchery produced several million larvae, unfortunately due to a seawater change on day 12 of 14, the population collapsed overnight.
In 2022 the CIC was awarded a little under £100,000 from the Co-op Foundations ‘Carbon Innovation Fund – Round 1’. The funding was to:
- support the purchase, from licence holders that had previously refused to exploit/export the low reproductive grade (<75g), and the storage of those juvenile oysters in a biomass that would significantly increase larval production for the wild habitat, and hopefully provide the growth & reproductive data required for an increase in the minimum landing size (which we believe is too small and therefore destroying the natural biomass before it has had chance to successfully recruit more than is harvested)
- purchase and install a solar/wind system at the harbour, to provide green energy to the hatchery/algae lab as well as to stakeholders’ businesses, including Fal Oyster Ltd t/a Cornish Native Oysters, who are an authorised purification centre and the main customer for the CIC
- to employ licence holders/stakeholders in order to provide year-round income for those keen to put a little back in to SavingESTER. Work would include hatchery and microalgae operations as well as aquaculture management during the summer months. Management included cleaning and monitoring of the site and harvesting of mussels that naturally attach to the suspended trays, something that has a market potential, but has also created a significant number of problems due to the weight of mussels causing the trays to sink beyond the reach of our limited infrastructure capabilities
- and finally, to help a stakeholder member to establish a new route to market for the industry by way of building Cornwall’s first cannery since the 1940s. The ‘Cornish Canning Co’ already had premises and a 5-hygiene rated kitchen, but it lacked a few pieces of equipment, namely the can seaming machine and cans. In 2023 the CIC also helped raise funds for the final piece of equipment for ‘Cornish Canning Co Ltd’, the cooker, so shellfish could be canned with a 5-year shelf life, instead of the 3-5 day shelf life of our highly prized Cornish shellfish
Due to lack of resources, we have recently missed out on several new opening rounds of funding, both from the UK and internationally, but there will be plenty more funding calls and we hope to find a board of trustees to work on these challenges/applications early 2024.
Each director, of any CIC, must commit to paying £1 in the unlikely event that the company ceases trading, in addition the ‘assets are locked’ and will be passed to the Fisherman’s Mission, if the CIC is wound up, there are no other implications, and we are not seeking investors nor investment.
Thank you for taking the time to read this, it means a lot. Please take a moment to visit our websites, and do get in touch if you would like to help or have any questions: