Swiss Lachs, the first Swiss inland salmon farm, will soon receive the permit to operate a smokehouse from its farming location at the village of Lostallo.
“We planned to smoke our trout harvest for Christmas production in our new smokehouse, but have outsourced a large part of the production due to a slight delay,” says marketing & sales director Ronald Herculeijns. “We expect to be in full production in January.”
Swiss Lachs will reserve up to 20 percent of its first salmon harvest, expected around April 2018, for smoking. “The biggest part of our harvest we will sell head on gutted.”
Smoked fish will be a niche for now, because Switzerland already has some very good smokehouses, says Herculeijns. “Of course we want to take a part of that pie, but that will take time.”
Swiss Lachs is well prepared for that, with the appointment of John Flett, a Scottish smokemaster with 30 years of experience, says Herculeijns.
“He is setting up our smokehouse now and handling all the necessary procedures. The smoking process will be completely artisanal, to be able to compete with the existing smokehouses and position our smoked salmon as premium. Smoking will be done with a mixture of beach and oak chips, and the salmon will be smoked in different ways, both hanging and lying.”
The smoked products will be sold from the company’s own shop, next to the farm. For other sales options, Swiss Lachs will focus on exclusive department stores and gastronomy.
“We have plenty of ideas. We want to become the Swiss smokehouse specialist with its own Swiss salmon. We will eventually develop a whole range of Swiss smoked products, and partner with restaurants.”
Twenty high profile Swiss restaurants already work with Swiss Lachs trout, and Herculeijns expects more to follow, when the salmon enters the market. “We are now actively selling our trout, and adding it to gift boxes for Christmas as well, in cooperation with a Swiss wine producer.”