Organic salmon producers set to enjoy seasonal sales boost

Irish organic salmon producers are well positioned to enjoy a seasonal boost in sales, according to the latest Bord Bia research.

Paris-based Bord Bia market analyst Finnian O’Luasa predicts demand will rise for Ireland’s certified organic salmon during the traditional end-of-year sales peak.

“The end-of-year season is peak time for salmon purchases, be it for Christmas dinner or to ring in the New Year,” said Mr O’Luasa.

“Ireland is Europe’s leading producer of organic salmon with over 80% of total annual production in Ireland being organic and certified to the European Organic standard. Ireland is well placed to enhance its market position as demand for organic salmon continues to grow.”

Irish organic salmon was also the first seafood product to achieve the official French Agriculture Biologique (AB Bio) status in France, when this standard was launched in 2001.

The total volume of overall farmed Atlantic salmon in the world was around 1.7m tonnes in 2012, according to recent estimates from the FAO.

Ireland produced around 15,000 tonnes or less than 1% of global production.

“This is because salmon farming in Ireland is based on a low-intensity model in respect of the European organic certification standard, which requires exceptionally low stocking densities,” notes Mr O’Luasa.

As well as the stocking density of fish, the organic salmon standard specifies, amongst other criteria, that only sustainable organic feed can be used and natural products and processes are preferred over synthetic ones.

Environmental monitoring, reduced waste outputs and elimination of non-recyclable materials are all part of the standard.

“Buyers and trade media from leading markets have come to witness at first-hand the quality credentials of Irish salmon, including a host of international buyers during Ireland’s recent sustainability conference,” said Mr O’Luasa.

“This testifies to the demand for organic food in general, as described in an earlier Food Alert, and to the demand for Irish organic salmon in particular due to food safety and quality credentials.”

The Bord Bia analyst also points out that Ireland is void of heavy industry on its coastline and in consequence Irish seafood contains very little environmental contaminants.

In 2012, in excess of 759 tests for 1,596 substances were carried out on 169 samples of farmed finfish for a range of residues by Ireland’s Marine Institute under the national residue- monitoring plan.

As in previous years, no non-compliant results were reported.


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