Paul first started as a 16-year-old boy in 1974 under the tutelage and close supervision of his uncle’s Ronnie and Jack, and his dad Gerald.
“I finished school on the Thursday and started work on the Friday,” says Paul. “I was put in the boiler room cooking crabs. I progressed to working in the refrigeration department before finding myself working in the office where I’ve stayed ever since. Although during the recent lockdown, I went to work at the crab tanks doing manual labour. ‘Head down, ass up’ as my dad used to say!”
Founder William Harvey’s grandson, Paul’s main responsibility has been liaising directly with the fishermen and suppliers to sell to the UK markets. This role will now be taken over by Paul’s son William, who is also a director of the business.
Paul has had the pleasure of meeting several members of the royal family during his time at Harveys including Her Majesty the Queen, Duke of Edinburgh, Princess Diana, Prince Charles, and the Queen Mother.
He’s seen some many changes during his tenure, and not just to the business.
“Fishing equipment has changed drastically from when I started,” he explains. “It all used to be made from natural products such as cane and bamboo whereas now it is all manufactured in plastic, which does last a lot longer.
“But the biggest challenges we’ve seen has to be now, with coronavirus and Brexit and the impacts that has had on the industry as well as the business.” Paul Harvey retires.
However, despite the changes to the fishing industry, Paul still supports the independent fishermen rather than the big commercial companies fishing in and around Newlyn and the Cornish coast as the quality of the shellfish they catch is to a much higher standard.
“I’m leaving the business in safe hands,” Paul adds. “We’ve got a good team of staff around us and I know they’ll continue to do well.”
The core values of the business passed onto Paul from his uncles and dad continue to be a major part of the business today. Paul has made many friends in the industry and formed close ties with fisherman from all over the South West, UK customers and on the continent.
Paul plans to spend his retirement gardening and spending time with his grandchildren as well as enjoying walking the beautiful Cornish coast and swimming in the summer.
On behalf of Julian, Matthew, William and all the team at W. Harvey & Sons, we thank Paul for his dedication and service and wish him all the best in his retirement.
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