The Co-op has reinforced its commitment to responsible sourcing by launching a new Scottish salmon farming group.
The initiative will seek to build more strategic, long-term relationships with its Scottish suppliers whilst also focusing on best practice and performance, in support of a new salmon farming standard set to be unveiled by the retailer.
Focused on the main suppliers of the Co-op’s Irresistible and standard ranges, the group expects to work with a total of about 30 farmers, alongside other stakeholders from across the supply chain and long-standing processor Farne Salmon & Trout.
“We’re proud to sell 100% 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,” said Co-op fish sustainability manager Aisla Jones.
“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.”
The farming group also plans to invest in research and work more closely with the local communities that farm Scottish salmon. It has ring-fenced additional funds used to support suppliers’ research and development initiatives around food efficiency, sustainability or responsible sourcing.
“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,” added Farne Salmon head of aquaculture and quality Dale Hill.
The Co-op has been part of the Sustainable Seafood Coalition since 2011, and also works with the Sustainable Fisheries Partnership.
It follows the Co-op’s commitment to source 100% own-brand British meat in May this year.