Scottish salmon farming is Freedom Food’s greatest success – Fishfarmer Magazine

Scottish salmon farming is Freedom Food’s greatest success10 March, 2014 –

Freedom Food – the RSPCA’s food labelling scheme – has announced that 70% of Scottish salmon is now farmed to the RSPCA’s higher welfare standards. 

This means more salmon farmers are working to the RSPCA’s higher welfare standards than in any other farming sector – including chicken, duck, dairy, beef, sheep and egg production. It makes the Scottish salmon farming industry Freedom Food’s biggest success story to date.

The news comes as Freedom Food celebrates 20 years of improving the lives of farm animals and over 11 years since the RSPCA’s welfare standards for farmed Atlantic salmon were first introduced (2002) and the approval of its first salmon producer – Sutherland based Loch Duart**.Commenting on this success leading Scottish chef, Nick Nairn, said: “The salmon industry is so important to Scotland and I have been saying for years that good welfare practice inevitably results in a superior product that simply tastes better. So it’s great news to hear that 70% of the Scottish Salmon farming industry is now part of the Freedom Food scheme.”Why is Freedom Food salmon such a success story?Freedom Food’s agricultural manager, Bob Waller, explains:  “We believe it is because we have clearly shown that farming to RSPCA welfare standards makes good business – as well as good welfare – sense. For example, healthier fish and better bio-security means lower mortality, and therefore increased salmon production. “Success for us, of course, means more animals benefiting from higher welfare standards. But to achieve that, we have to demonstrate to our members that there are not only measurable commercial benefits to joining Freedom Food, but that there is also a growing demand from consumers for higher welfare food.  “And all the signs show that this is the case, with more Freedom Food labelled smoked and fresh salmon available than ever before in UK supermarkets including the Co-operative, Somerfield, Morrisons, Sainsbury’s and Tesco.”The Scottish Salmon Producers’ Organisation (SSPO) who confirmed the current 70% estimate also expects that this figure will continue to rise over the coming years.