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Scottish salmon secures protected status in recognition of world-beating quality

Scottish salmon secures protected status in recognition of world-beating quality

Scottish salmon has secured protected legal status to boost consumer confidence in recognition of its world-beating quality.

Farm-raised salmon from Scotland will now have greater post-Brexit protection to prevent the risk of food fraud through imports of inferior salmon products with lower environmental and food safety standards which could misleadingly be sold as ‘Scottish salmon’.

The labelling decision by the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) means that the term ‘Scottish salmon’ will have a new ‘protected geographical indication’ (PGI) by the end of April.

The strict geographical designation will be ‘the coastal region of mainland Scotland, Western Isles, Orkney, and Shetland Isles’.
The update replaces a previous PGI of ‘Scottish farmed salmon’ given that wild Scottish salmon is no longer available for sale in supermarkets following decades of exploitation, habitat loss, pollution, and climate change.

It remains a requirement of all seafood products on sale in the UK to list production method on packaging and the change of PGI name does not affect this statutory requirement, so packaging will continue to make clear that that salmon is farm-raised.

But it will ensure that, post-Brexit, unscrupulous operators cannot pass off an inferior product as ‘Scottish salmon’ if it does not meet the terms of the PGI.

Scottish salmon is the UK’s largest food export, with international sales of £581 million last year – led by demand in France – despite the ongoing financial challenges of Brexit.

Salmon is also the most popular fish among UK consumers, with sales in UK retailers running at around £1.2 billion-a-year at retail.

Tavish Scott, chief executive of Salmon Scotland, said:
“Farm-raised Scottish salmon is a globally recognised brand and rightly considered the best in the world, so it is vital that we take steps to protect our premium product from food fraud.

“When consumers talk about ‘Scottish salmon’, they are talking about farm-raised Atlantic salmon from Scotland – and this change makes that clear, while boosting legal protection post-Brexit.

“Scotland’s salmon farmers work hard to rear their fish, and this recognition by Defra is testament to the commitment of all those in remote communities who continue to meet the growing demand for Scottish salmon at home and abroad.”