In 2022, Scottish salmon is celebrating 30 years of holding the prestigious Label Rouge quality mark in France, which delivers a massive economic boost for Scotland. Scottish salmon was the first fish and first non-French product to be awards the quality mark in 1992, which recognises the superior quality of a food or farmed product, particularly with regard to taste.
To obtain Label Rouge status, a very strict set of standards must be met throughout the entire production chain including farming techniques, feed, processing, and distribution.
In this blog, we discuss what the Label Rouge status means for Scottish salmon, and how this anniversary is being celebrated.
What ‘Label Rouge’ certified means for Scotland
Originally produced for the premium French market and served in many of France’s top restaurants, Scottish salmon is now sought-after across Europe and beyond, in places like the Middle East and Japan.
Label Rouge endorsement contributes to France being the top export destination for Scottish salmon, with new figures showing that a record 53,500 tonnes of whole, fresh salmon was exported there in 2021, accounting for 50% of the value of all UK salmon exports.
The French market for Scottish salmon has boomed in recent years, and around 10,000 tonnes of exports to France come under the Label Rouge quality mark. The prestigious status guarantees quality, and it is a source of immense pride that Scottish salmon has now held the honour for 30 years.
For three decades, Scottish salmon farmers have worked hard to deliver the exceptional quality that meets the strictest standards required to achieve Label Rouge certification.
The farm-raised salmon industry directly employs more than 2,500 people in Scotland and supports more than 3,600 suppliers, with 10,000 jobs dependent on the sector. Scottish salmon is the UK’s biggest food export, followed by bread and pastries, chocolate, cereals, and cheese.
Celebrating 30 years
After being first awarded the accolade in 1992 by the French Ministry for Agriculture, the 30th anniversary was recently marked with a high-profile visit to Scotland by leading French importers Anaelle Le Goffic, from Reynaud, and Yannick Forget Dugaret, from Demarne.
Stops on the grand tour included one of Scottish Salmon Company’s Loch Fyne sea farms, lunch at Loch Fyne Oyster Bar, a visit to the recently opened Johnnie Walker visitor centre in Edinburgh, and the Scotland v France rugby Six Nations match at Murrayfield.
More celebrations are planned for the rest of 2022!
Scottish salmon is an international success story and France is the most important export market. Label Rouge certified Scottish salmon contributes to generating hundreds of millions of pounds for the Scottish economy, and supports hundreds of local jobs.
Watch the video below to find out more about the Label Rouge quality mark