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December 11th 2023

A global league table of sustainable food producers has placed four salmon farmers operating in Scotland in the top ten.

The ‘Coller FAIRR Protein Producer Index’ highlights the “strong performance of aquaculture companies”.

The index assesses 60 of the largest listed meat, dairy and aquaculture companies on ten environmental, social and governance (ESG) factors including greenhouse gas emissions, waste and pollution, and animal welfare.

Running since 2018, the table is widely accepted as the food sector’s most comprehensive ESG benchmark.

It states: “All regions demonstrated improved performance this year. Europe saw an overall score increase of 11 per cent – in large part driven by an increase in animal welfare scores and by the strong performance of aquaculture companies, which continued to do better than their land-based counterparts.”

It adds: “Aquaculture continues to be the food-producing sector with the highest annual growth rate.

“Environmental change, population growth and a decline in naturally occurring fisheries and food availability suggest coastal and open-water aquaculture will continue to play an increasing role in food security over the coming decades.”

Tavish Scott, chief executive of Salmon Scotland, said:

“Salmon farmers are at the forefront of sustainable protein production across the world.

“Farm-raised salmon has one of the lowest carbon footprints of any animal protein and is the solution to the challenges of food security and a growing population, so it’s very rewarding to see the aquaculture sector occupy the top spots in this sustainability index.

“In Scotland, salmon farms are committed to the highest animal welfare standards anywhere in the world, raising one of the most nutritious foods we can eat in the most sustainable way possible, and through our sustainability charter our member companies are working to cut their already low carbon footprint.

“With growing demand at home and abroad for Scottish salmon, our sector continues to go from strength to strength.”