Breaking: EU salmon processors form union demanding end to prodfisk export ban

Matthew Wilcox

European salmon processors unite to challenge Norwegian export ban on production fish. 

On Wednesday, Salmon processors across Europe announced the launch of an alliance (the EU Salmon Processors Union) to seek an end to Norway’s export ban on production fish.

“As salmon processors in Europe, we are facing a crucial challenge that affects us all, and it is high time we take collective action,” the new association writes on its website. “This export ban favors a couple of domestic Norwegian salmon processors, while leaving thousands of EU salmon buyers with lacking availability and extreme prices for superior and ordinary salmon.”

The new alliance has called for all EU salmon processors, large and small, to sign the petition calling for an end for the export ban on its new website.

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The export ban has led to a shortage of salmon in the EU market, causing price spikes for higher grades of salmon and market inefficiencies, according to the new alliance.

The union argues that the claims of potential reputational damage to Norwegian salmon by allowing prod-fish into the open market are unfounded, citing the successful practices in other salmon-producing countries like the Faroe Islands, Scotland, and Ireland. They also highlight issues of fraud, protectionism, and vague regulations, including a 10-year dispensation allowed for a single Norwegian company, which exacerbates the problem.

The EU Salmon Processors Union is now calling on the Norwegian government to lift the export ban on prod-fish or at least grant a dispensation when the share of prod-fish exceeds 8% of total harvest volumes.

They assert that EU processors are equipped to handle and upgrade production-grade salmon into premium products, ensuring high-quality offerings in the market.

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In addition to these arguments, the union makes reference to case law supporting its position. “The European Court of Justice has repeatedly made rulings emphasizing the importance of the free movement of goods and the need for fair competition within the internal market. The Norwegian ban on the export of production-grade salmon is in conflict with these principles and must be challenged based on European legislation,” they write on their website.

The ESP Union includes processors from multiple EU countries, including Poland, Denmark, Belgium, Spain, the Netherlands, and France.


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