Huon responds to salmon farm activist attacks

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Huon centre of critical national consumer campaign against Tasmanian salmon.

On Monday, Australian conservation council Environment Tasmania (ET) launched a campaign targeting the AUD 862 million (EUR 532.3 million) salmon farming industry by providing information to supermarket chains and their customers.

Coles, Woolworths, IGA and Aldi have been contacted by ET to force them to demand salmon farmers such as Pentuna, Huon and Tassal to label salmon its salmon “farmed”. Its traffic light rating is for consumer education.

ET claim that salmon farmers have refused to disclose: total current antibiotic used, faeces on the ocean floor, marine life that dies under salmon farms and the amount of salmon that die from disease and malformations before being harvested.

A report card rates all three main salmon farmers based in Tasmania across the key benchmarks

It is also promised a TV exclusive that will air on flagship Australian news-current affairs program The Project.

The Australian reports that the campaign is to include handouts to shoppers at supermarkets in NSW, Victoria and Queensland, is backed by several Tasmanian-raised celebrities, including Home and Away ­actress Bonnie Sveen.

In response, Huon called the claims from Environment Tasmania “false” and said the industry was already transparent on a lot of the issues discussed.

In a post, the salmon farmer wrote that: the claims made by Environment Tasmania (ET) in its latest campaign are “false and malicious”. It also said that despite numerous invitations to visit its farm sites and had refused to go on a farm tour.

“One of ET’s primary allegations is that the industry lacks transparency. As evidence to counter this claim, Huon Aquaculture was pleased to recently host The Project (Channel 10) on a tour of our farm leases. They asked to meet with us following concerns raised by ET and without hesitation we openly accepted. During the visit no topic was off-limits, and no restrictions were placed on The Project during the filming and interviewing of Huon sites and staff, ” it wrote.

SalmonBusiness put Huon’s accusations to Laura Kelly, Strategy Director at Environment Tasmania.

“The team would be happy to go on a farm tour,” she said. “We’ve met the Huon leadership numerous times and discussed the rating project with them for over 12 months. Huon originally offered to release the data for all of the key measures rated, which would have greatly improved their rating for transparency, but this never eventuated. It seems disingenuous to suggest that we have the facts wrong, given that the facts we have used are mostly from Huon’s website. The company was also sent the data spreadsheets used, to give them an opportunity for review and comment. They didn’t take the opportunity to do so,” she added.