New rules introduced to increase international sales of premium Scottish salmon

Editorial Staff

The process of agreeing changes to the ‘Cahier des Charge’ specifications set by French authorities has taken five years.

New regulations have been established allowing Scottish farmers to increase their exports of ‘Label Rouge’ salmon to France and other European markets.

The updated French quality mark, known for its stringent standards, now accommodates modern health and welfare improvements in salmon farming, ensuring the fish maintains its renowned quality and taste, according to a release from Salmon Scotland on Tuesday.

The process of agreeing changes to the ‘Cahier des Charge’ specifications set by French authorities has taken five years, and the update will increase survival rates of Scottish salmon by enabling larger, stronger fish to go to sea and potentially spend less time in the marine environment before reaching harvest weight.

Under the new rules, Scottish farmers can export larger salmon, specifically those weighing between six and eight kilograms, which is expected to boost sales in the premium market, especially within the sushi sector. Rural Affairs Secretary Mairi Gougeon welcomed the announcement, emphasizing the potential for expanded export opportunities.

“I am delighted by this news – it will enable us to export more of our internationally renowned Label Rouge salmon, which has established itself as a world-leading example of premium quality Scottish produce over the last 30 years,” she said.

“We are committed to encouraging investment in research, development and innovation in Scotland’s aquaculture sector and we will continue to work closely with the Scottish salmon industry to further improve export opportunities and see even more consumers enjoying Label Rouge salmon as a result.”

In 2023, France was the leading international market for Scottish salmon, purchasing £272 million worth of salmon, which accounted for nearly half of all exports. Approximately one-third of these exports were Label Rouge certified, a mark of superior quality that was first awarded to Scottish salmon over 30 years ago—the first non-French product to receive this accolade.

The announcement was made at Seafood Expo Global in Barcelona, the largest seafood trade event globally, attended by representatives from over 160 countries.

Mairi Gougeon expressed her satisfaction with the developments, highlighting the continued commitment to supporting Scotland’s aquaculture sector and improving its export potential. Tavish Scott, CEO of Salmon Scotland, noted that these changes would help maintain the high quality and taste of Scottish salmon while supporting sustainable practices. Su Cox, chair of Scottish Quality Salmon, emphasized that the updates would protect the esteemed status of Label Rouge Scottish salmon and expand its recognition across global markets.


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