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Visiting France

Gillardeau oyster farm to laser-engrave shells to fight counterfeiters

media An engraved Gillardeau oyster DR

A French oyster farm is to engrave its logo on its oysters’ shells in an attempt to smash a market in counterfeits. The world-famous Gillardeau family business is to use lasers to ensure that its shellfish cannot be faked.

Gillardeau, whose fleshy “spéciales” are prized by gastronomes around the globe, is to invest between 4.5 million and five million euros in lasers and a state-of-the-art building, its manager, Véronique Gillardeau announced on Friday.

The company, a family business founded over 100 years ago that boasts of producing the “Rolls Royce of French oysters”, first considered inserting a microchip into its produce but rejected the idea.

Laser engraving the shells does not harm the oyster and the result is resistant to sea water, Véronique Gillardeau told the AFP news agency.

The temperature in the 1,800m² building will be controlled in an attempt to reduce the death-rate among young oysters.

The first fake Gillardeau oysters came to light in China but have now been spotted in many other countries.

As well as its oyster beds in France, Gillardeau operates in Ireland, Scotland, England and Portugal

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