At Skretting’s food fish conference in Gran Canaria, the emergence of sustainability as a global megatrend was on the agenda. Now that the German retail chain Kaufland is the first retailer to offer Norwegian salmon fed algae oil to consumers. The labelling of products that are particularly sustainable will be a way of differentiating themselves from the competitors in the refrigerator.
“Sustainability communication is a key for seafood operators to get a better relationship with the rest of society, it is also an opportunity to raise higher margins,” said Henrik Wiedswang Horjen, an adviser at Geelmuyden Kiese – Scandinavia’s largest communications agency.
During Skretting’s food fish conference Aquatraining in Maspalomas in Gran Canaria, Horjen presented results from recent studies showing that consumers are more willing to pay for sustainable products.
The story behind it
Consumers will know more about the history of seafood products, and they are willing to pay more for companies they trust.
GlobScan’s survey “Consumers want to rely on the fish they eat” shows that seven out of ten consumers in North America require the fish products to be labelled as sustainable by independent industry standards.
“Sustainability and health effects are becoming increasingly important reasons why people in Europe choose seafood, and we see this not least in the German market. Salmon fed on algae oil becomes a differentiation factor that end-users also demand,” said Horjen.
Horjen brings out the fish farming company Lingalaks from Hardanger as an international pioneer when they now feed their salmon with algae oil from Veramaris, produced by Skretting. The new algae oil from Veramaris is rich in both EPA and DHA fatty acids. At the same time, it allows Lingalaks to separate its salmon from other brands by selling it as sustainable.
The industry must find alternative sources of omega-3 to increase production. The sustainability story plays a key role when the German retail chain Kaufland becomes the first player to offer salmon fed algae oil.
“Our customers have high demands on the quality and origin of the assortment. Salmon feed on algae oil is innovative and provides a quality stamp that lives up to the customers’ high demands for good taste and healthy products. We are convinced that this cooperation is a forward-looking decision,” said German hypermarket chain Kaufland’s purchasing manager Andreas Schopper.
Salmon no longer eat fish, but are instead fed with omega-3 from algal oil. One tonne of algae oil corresponds to the same omega-3 content as 60 tonnes of wild fish. Wild fish has traditionally been the only source of omega-3 in fish feed but is a scarce resource.
“The pace of innovation is so strong in this industry, but we see that it takes time before the story reaches the end user. The sustainability trend hits the seafood industry with full force, and we will look to the future that even more players will try to stand out by showing how to produce even better,” said Horjen.