Sainsbury’s now offers 100% of its fresh Scottish salmon range as ASC certified – a first for the UK and a big step forward for responsible salmon farming in the country.
The move means that UK shoppers who want to buy salmon that is both local and responsibly produced have more choice than ever. When these shoppers buy ASC labelled salmon from Sainsbury’s, they are rewarding responsible farming, helping to incentivise more farms to improve their practices.
Fish farming, known as aquaculture, produces over half of the seafood consumed around the world and is a vital source of low-carbon, healthy protein for a growing global population. It can also reduce pressures on wild stocks of fish. Salmon farming is a vital industry for the Scottish economy and the iconic product creates jobs in rural areas. But like all food production, farming has impacts and these can cause environmental and social problems if farming is not managed responsibly.
Just a few of the issues covered by ASC certification include: maintaining and monitoring water and seabed quality; preventing escapes; keeping fish healthy; and paying and treating workers fairly.
‘Preserves the iconic environment in which it is farmed’
Chris Ninnes, ASC CEO said: “We believe consumers want to make a difference with their food choices, by choosing seafood from responsible farmers. But this can only happen if retailers provide shoppers with a comprehensive choice of certified products, which is why this commitment by Sainsbury’s is so important.
“Scottish salmon is a world-famous product, for good reason. But it must be produced in a way that also preserves the iconic environment in which it is farmed. Sainsbury’s customers now have the chance to play their part in supporting responsible salmon farming by looking for the ASC logo.”
First for the UK
Gavin Hodgeson, Head of Agriculture, Aquaculture & Horticulture at Sainsbury’s said: “We know it’s our responsibility to ensure the food on our shelves is as sustainably sourced as possible, which is why we’re so pleased to become the first retailer to offer 100% ASC certified fresh salmon.
“Over the next few years we’ll continue working closely with our suppliers to ensure food is sourced sustainably from all perspectives – socially, environmentally and economically.”
There are hundreds of salmon farms ASC certified around the world, and a recent change to the ASC Salmon Standard has allowed Scottish farms to apply for certification. So far nine farms have successfully demonstrated their environmental and social responsibility and achieved certification.