New salmon status a huge boost Fish Farming Today Published: 03 September, 2004 SCOTTISH Quality Salmon (SQS),which is part sponsor of the Fish and Poultry Craftsmanship Competition at the Oyster & Seafood Fair at Hay’s Galleria in London on Sunday September 5th is hailing the award of Protected Geographical Indicator (PGI) status as a major boost for Scottish salmon producers in the international and UK markets.PGI is of major importance and brings an immediate and tangible benefit in accessing the £1.5 million European Financial Instrument for Fisheries Guidance (FIFG) grant,allowing SQS to start their healthy eating campaign said Brian Simpson,SQS chief executive.Retailers, in conjunction with their suppliers, are able to participate in this campaign as funding is available over the next two years.All interested parties should register their interest with him as soon as possible, he added.PGI is better recognised in continental Europe than in the UK, explained Simpson, and some of his members are already reporting interest from markets such as Italy,Germany,Spain and Switzerland.France is already a significant market for Scottish Farmed Salmon but we expect PGI to give added impetus to sales here too,he went on. Announced last month by the European Commission, PGI status puts Scottish Farmed Salmon on a par with Champagne and Parma Ham as a product recognised by the EU for its quality and distinctive regional characteristics.Simpson continued:Products will now only be able to be called Scottish Farmed Salmon if they are produced in accordance with a set of stringent procedures and standards. Our good name is therefore protected and fish from other countries will be prevented from being labelled and passed off at consumer level as Scottish Farmed Salmon. Simpson also believes that UK consumers will increasingly see PGI as a badge of quality and authenticity.UK food producers have perhaps been slower than some markets to recognise the value of PGI status. But that is rapidly changing and consumers here will become much more familiar with PGI, its logo and what it stands for. This can only be good news for Scotlands salmon farmers, he concluded.The PGI label will be available to any company whose products meet thespecifications, but inspection and certification by an independent body is required.*www.fishupdate is published by Special Publications. Special Publications also publish European Fish Trader, Fishing Monthly, Fish Farming Today, Fish Farmer, the Fish Industry Yearbook, the Scottish Fishermens Federation Diary, the Scottish Seafood Processors Federation Diary , the Fish Farmer Handbook and a range of wallplanners.