Scottish salmon is in demand across the world – we export to more than 50 countries worldwide , generate more than £760million GVA for the Scottish economy, employ more than 12,000 people and provide 850million nutritious, protein-packed meals a year.
And when we talk about “Scottish salmon”, we are talking about farm-raised Atlantic salmon, the UK’s top food export valued at £600m, and a domestic market is valued at £1.2bn a year.
Wild Scottish salmon is not sold in supermarkets, and farm-raised salmon now supplies 100 per cent of the increasing demand for fresh Atlantic salmon.
In 2004 Scottish salmon was awarded with a protected geographic indication, or PGI, which means only farm-raised Atlantic salmon from Scotland can be called “Scottish Farmed Salmon”. In practice, most retailers and customers understand “Scottish Farmed Salmon” is “Scottish salmon”.
Twenty years on, and a few years since the UK left the European Union, the time is right to consider whether the PGI reflects what consumers understand our product to be.
The name change simply reflects this.
It remains a requirement of all seafood products on sale in the UK to list production method on packaging and the change of PGI name does not affect this statutory requirement, so, for example, the back of the packaging will continue to make clear that that salmon is farm-raised in Scotland.
Farm-raised Scottish salmon is reared by dedicated salmon farmers in the west coast and northern and western isles of Scotland for up to two years. Our salmon farmers are immensely proud of the sector and the food they produce.
A survey of the UK’s top chefs revealed that farm-raised Scottish salmon is “the best in the world”.
Farm-raised Scottish salmon is a globally recognised brand and given its importance to Scotland it is vital that we take steps to protect our premium product from food fraud, where inferior salmon products with lower environmental and food safety standards are imported and could be sold as ‘Scottish salmon’.
This change will boost legal protections for farm-raised Scottish salmon, particularly post-Brexit.
Scotland’s salmon farmers work hard to rear the very best salmon in the world and we are all immensely proud to produce farm-raised “Scottish salmon”.