German smokehouse Wechsler Feinfisch is the only company in Germany with 55 percent volume in organic salmon.
The company has been focusing on organic salmon almost from its start in 1969, Felix Jansen, third generation in the family-owned business, told Salmon Business at Anuga.
“When my grandfather, Josef Jansen, started the company in 1960, he first smoked eel, from the Rhine near Cologne. In 1969 he added salmon, from the Aran Islands in Ireland.”
Josef Jansen chose Ireland because it could supply organic salmon and it also stands for quality in Germany, explained Felix Jansen.
“We buy whole salmon that we fillet by hand in our factory. We smoke in a traditional fashion, using a stone Altona oven, with beechwood chips and an open fire. We use juniper for extra flavor.”
Recently Wechsler added Cobia to the assortment, Jansen continues. “This fish is farmed for us in Panama, in cooperation with US company Open Blue.”
The company has one wild product: Sockeye salmon from Alaska. “Everything else is farmed. We have two brands: Wechsler’s and BioMare, specially for the organic retail segment.’
Wechsler produces mainly for the German market, where organic is in high demand.
“We produce for retail, foodservice and fishmonger shops. Salmon is our major product; in addition, we smoke trout, eel and shrimp.”
Wechsler’s works according to IFS standards and all the company’s products are certified, either by Naturland (German organic certifier), the MSC, ASC or ESF (for eel). Wechsler’s operates at two locations close to Cologne and has 250 employees.