Growing snails for food is a long-standing practice around the world.The record holder for shellfish consumption is still considered France. No single holiday goes by without delicious snacks from this ingredient. Also snail dishes are eaten in Spain, Italy, Greece,Belgium and other countries. Every corner of the planet has their unique recipes, so that the product is truly recognized universal. Ukraine has existed and developed snail farms for 10 years. Despite the fact that most of the products goes abroad, demand is already growing in the domestic market. Snails dishes can be found in European restaurants, as well as in online stores (in this case, the snack is delivered ready-made frozen). Shellfish farms for restaurants Large farms with an area of several hectares are mainly are exported, because the Ukrainian market does not consume snails in such quantity. For sale to Europe owners issue a special permit and receive a certificate. But smaller farms are just focused on domestic sale. Consumers of our products:
- restaurants and cafes of European cuisine;
- enterprises producing semi-finished products;
- other farms that have a need for broodstock.
Today, snail dishes are affordable, because the main ingredient is grown here in our territory. Lack of costs for transport and customs clearance allows you to sell product at a cost adequate for our consumer. Average retail price of an adult grape snail in Ukraine — 80-100 UAH per 1 kg.
Mediterranean snails (Helix aspersa Maxima and Helix aspersa Muller) are valued higher — 180-250 UAH per 1 kg. Currently, the shellfish farming business is developing rapidly. The main segment is occupied by small and medium-sized farms, as in the construction of a large farm it is necessary to make large investments. With the popularization of European dishes, demand is also growing. If 10 years ago, a popular appetizer escargot (fillet of snails,baked in a shell with a creamy sauce) was tried by one out of a hundred people (and then abroad), but today this figure is significantly increased.The trend is that shellfish will soon repeat their success sushi, pizza and chinese WOK noodles, which were also once were perceived by Ukrainians as a curiosity.
Opening of a shellfish farm
The scale and types of snail farms vary. Someone raises gastropods in the courtyard of his own private house, someone rents or buys a land plot, and someone builds industrial premises (greenhouse). Whichever option you choose, it is important to understand: for deliveries to restaurants and cafes need:
- register a legal entity (often an individual entrepreneur);
- obtain permission from veterinary services.
Farms are divided into open, closed and mixed.
First the option involves breeding only grape snails, accustomed to our climate. In greenhouse conditions they grow also Helix pomatia and Helix aspersa. Mixed farming
involves breeding in pens in the summer, and storing the snail in a greenhouse in winter (during suspended animation and awakening). Each type of farm has advantages and disadvantages. In short: it is cheaper to organize a farm outdoors, butthe end result will be higher and more predictable in the greenhouse, since in artificial conditions it is easier to control the level of temperature and humidity.
Despite the fact that heliceculture (snail breeding) called in Europe a business for the lazy, there are many nuances. In order not to «step on a rake», it is desirable undergo training, which is now offered by existing shellfish growing companies.During the training, specialists share their experience and talk about how:
- draw up a business plan;
- find a suitable place;
- prepare for the opening;
- choose equipment and feed;
- find consumers;
- avoid high mortality and other problems.
As a rule, there you will be offered everything you need for farms:
- tables for reproduction;
- compound feed, etc.
It is important to find experienced professionals who have been breeding for a long time. Information support and help from experienced farmers will help you avoid troubles and quickly recoup your business.