The Co-op has launched a new Scottish Salmon Farming Group as part of its commitment to selling responsibly-sourced fresh fish.
Announcing the move during Scottish Food and Drink Fortnight, the retailer said it would bring together key people across the supply chain, including suppliers and long-standing processor Farne Salmon and Trout.
The Co-op said it would allow it 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.
Salmon sales volumes at Co-op stores are up 22% year-on-year, prompting it to also look to invest in sector research to help “future proof” the industry.
And it aims to work more closely with local communities where Scottish salmon is farmed.
Co-op’s fish sustainability manager Aisla Jones said: “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.
“It will build on our already-strong sustainability credentials and 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.”
As with Co-op farming groups, salmon suppliers will be invited to work through a bronze, silver and gold pillar system, with a sharp focus on fish welfare and environmental impacts.
The Co-op boasts “rigorous policies in place” to monitor the fish it sources. It has been a member of the Sustainable Seafood Coalition since 2011 and also works closely with the Sustainable Fisheries Partnership.