Scotland’s Label Rouge salmon set for sales push

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Industry body Salmon Scotland has announced plans to encourage significant growth in sales of the premium “Label Rouge” Scottish salmon.

Label Rouge – a French designation reserved only for the best food and drink produce – accounts for 12% of Scottish salmon exports. Today at the Seafood Expo Global trade show in Barcelona, Salmon Scotland Chief Executive Tavish Scott announced that the vision is to increase this to 15% by 2026.

Scott said: “Scottish salmon is an extraordinary global success story that we can all be immensely proud of, with farmers in the Highlands and islands growing the UK’s largest and most valuable food export.

“Label Rouge Scottish salmon is a key foundation of that success – championing the quality and taste of the very best salmon available.

“Over the next three years, we want to increase the share of Label Rouge certified fish to over 15 per cent, making it the real jewel in our exporting crown.

“Label Rouge is not just a brand for our farmers – its higher value means higher revenues which support the Scottish economy, fund public services, help rural communities thrive and create jobs.

“We look forward to the next 30 years of growing and supplying the very best, tastiest salmon.”

The Label Rouge designation sets a standard for quality including the fish’s taste, texture and provenance, and the diet the fish are reared on.

While France has long been the main destination for Label Rouge Scottish salmon, the new approach aims to tap into countries such as Germany, Spain and Italy where the quality mark is increasingly being recognised.

Su Cox, chair of Scottish Quality Salmon, which sets the quality and promotes Label Rouge Scottish Salmon, explained: “Through engagement campaigns we have developed this standard into an internationally recognised quality brand.

“This includes campaigns with leading chefs, our Salmon Clan with top ‘Poissonerie’ (fish shops), recipes and chef guides.

“Interest and appreciation for the quality associated with our salmon has grown significantly across European markets such as Germany, Spain, and Italy, as well as across Asia and North America.

“We believe we can now extend our Label Rouge exports to reach new highs over the coming years.”

The growth plan has been welcomed by both the Scottish and UK governments.

Mairi Gougeon, Scottish Cabinet Secretary for Rural Affairs, Land Reform and Islands, said: “Scottish salmon is rightly internationally renowned and over the last 30 years Label Rouge salmon has established itself as a world-leading example of premium quality Scottish produce.

“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 more consumers enjoying Label Rouge salmon as a result.”

UK Government Minister for Scotland, John Lamont, added: “Scottish seafood has a fantastic reputation at home and abroad, and Label Rouge has established itself as a byword for top-quality salmon.

“Its expansion into new markets is further good news for the Scottish aquaculture sector, and of huge importance for many of our coastal communities who rely on the jobs salmon supports.

“Salmon exports are already a great British success story and spreading the word will, I am confident, bring further expansion.”

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