The first Swiss Atlantic salmon are being harvested from a land based salmon farm in Lostallo, an alpine village in the Italian part of Switzerland.
A salmon farm all the way up a Swiss mountain, surely not? A few months ago, this may have seemed unlikely but the team at SwissLachs are celebrating an important breakthrough indeed.
Thomas Hofmann, farm manager at Swiss Alpine Fish (and former land-based Danish Salmon) announced the news on the social media site Linkedin that after “24 months of hard work, our salmon are finally ready!”
“We are very happy to achieve this milestone and to deliver fresh and very sustainable fish to the Swiss costumer,” said Ronald Herculeijns, marketing director of SwissLachs to SalmonBusiness in an email.
“We just started the harvest of the first batch. We have 6 batches per year (every second month we import salmon eggs from Iceland) after 24 months they reach the harvest size of 3.5 kg HOG,” Herculeijns said. “On a yearly base we plan to grow 600 metric tons of round fish, that is about 480 metric tons of Head-on-Gutted fish. 80% of our fish will be sold fresh, 20% we smoke in-house and sell it online at our farm shop and to retailers and fish distributors,” he explained.
And the company which only started two years ago has got some serious customers. “We sell fresh fish to Switzerlands largest retailer, Coop and most premium food store Globus. We also sell fish to fish distributors who distribute the fish to restaurants and hotels,” Herculeijns added.
Swiss Lachs started in 2016, with more than 20 investors and with a warranty from the Danish export credit agency, backed by a Swiss bank. The Swiss Lachs RAS 2020 grow out facility was designed and delivered by Krüger Denmark, which is a business unit of Veolia. Alpine water is pumped from the ground to run the farm, and fish faeces is turned into biogas.
The company has also recently set up its own onsite traditional smokehouse.