THE Co-op has launched a new Scottish salmon farming group as part of its commitment to selling responsibly sourced fresh fish.
The group will bring together stakeholders across the supply chain, including key suppliers and long-standing processor Farne Salmon and Trout Ltd.
It will enable the Co-op to build more strategic, long-term relationships with its Scottish suppliers while also focusing on best practice and performance, in support of its new salmon farming standard.
Launching at a time when the Co-op’s salmon sales volumes are up 22 per cent year on year, the group will also look to invest in sector research to help future proof the industry.
And it aims to work more closely with local communities in the Scottish mainland and islands where Scottish salmon is farmed.
As with other Co-op farming groups, suppliers will be invited to work towards a bronze, silver and gold pillar system, with a sharp focus on fish welfare and environmental impacts.
Aisla Jones, the Co-op’s fish sustainability manager, said: ‘We’re proud to sell 100 per cent fresh farmed Scottish salmon in our stores, and at a time when consumer demand is rising now is the perfect time to launch this new Scottish Salmon Farming Group.
‘It will build on our already strong sustainability credentials and will allow us to mirror the success we’ve seen across other Co-op farming groups, by enhancing and cementing our existing supplier relationships.
‘We also want to make a positive impact within the Scottish communities that produce our world-class salmon and help future proof the industry for generations to come.’
Dale Hill, Farne Salmon’s head of Aquaculture and Quality, added: ‘It’s great to see the salmon sector in such growth and we’re delighted that the Co-op is investing further in the suppliers it works with and also the communities that they sit within.’
The Co-op has rigorous policies in place to monitor the fish it sources and has been a member of the Sustainable Seafood Coalition (SSC) since 2011.
All sourcing and labelling of Co-operative own brand products meets the SSC codes of conduct. The Co-op also works with the Sustainable Fishers Partnership (SFP) and is committed to continuously improving seafood sustainability.