Download report in full as a PDF online here (12 MB large file)
Here's the Summary:
Label Rouge Scottish salmon production is about 8,000 tonnes a year (that's 5% of the 171,722 tonnes of Scottish farmed salmon produced in 2015) with France taking the bulk followed by Germany and Switzerland and "interest in the Far East, especially Japan".
Despite repeated requests, Label Rouge Scottish Salmon, their five suppliers and the Scottish Salmon Producers Organisation refuse to provide of copy of the "very stringent set of standards" which are "officially endorsed by the French Government".
A 2007 report by WWF - "Benchmarking Study: Certification Programmes for Aquaculture - Environmental Impacts, Social Issues and Animal Welfare" - did not even select Label Rouge as there was "no transparency with regards to standard guidelines" and "no information available on the standards with regard to sustainability".
According to Label Rouge Scottish Salmon: "The Label Rouge is an official quality mark granted by the French Ministry of Agriculture to those products demonstrating superior quality, particularly in relation to taste. To achieve this level of quality, the production standards are defined in an officially approved manual, including elements such as feed, stocking density, farming time in fresh and sea waters, and fat content in the flesh."
An assessment of eco-labels - "How green is your eco-label? Comparing the environmental benefits of marine aquaculture standards" - published in 2011 ranked Label Rouge almost dead last (i.e. red). "Label Rouge, for instance, does not - at least publicly - offer standards for any of the 10 environmental impact areas," (including Antibiotics, Escapes, Sustainability of Feed, Pathogens, Parasiticides, Copper-based Antifoulants and Ecological Energy) stated the report by the University of Victoria.
GAAIA managed to obtain a copy of the Label Rouge standard (LA 33/90) but only in French (download a copy online here). "This manual is the property of SQS Ltd," warns the first page of the document. "Any representation or reproduction in whole or in part may not be made without the written consent of SQS Ltd."
GAAIA asked for permission to reproduce the document but has not received a reply. GAAIA feels that the public has a right to know what the Label Rouge standard requires or more importantly what the standard does not require (especially if the European Union and Scottish Government are using public funds for a "Label Rouge marketing campaign" to the tune of £36,834.07). Please read extracts below and online here.
A critique of the Label Rouge standard (LA 33/90) reveals that Scottish salmon must be artificially coloured to number 26 on the SalmoFan (at a minimum) with up to 16% fat (that's fattier than pizza!). Label Rouge's "very stringent set of standards" permit the use of toxic chemicals, antibiotics and the killing of seals.
A celebration of the "international success" of "sustainable" Scottish salmon to mark the 25th anniversary of Label Rouge Scottish salmon will take place in Edinburgh on 16 March. Guests invited to the conference at the Macdonald Holyrood Hotel near the Scottish Parliament and to a reception and dinner at Edinburgh Castle include the First Minister of Scotland (who declined an invitation to be "guest of honour"), the Master Chefs of France, and the Chief Executives of SEPA and Local Authorities across Scotland.
"Label Rouge Scottish salmon leaves a bad taste in the mouth," said Don Staniford, Director of the Global Alliance Against Industrial Aquaculture. "This lousy label has gone rogue by accrediting Scottish farmed salmon. Scottish salmon is infested with lice, doused in toxic chemicals and artificial colourings, prescribed antibiotics, caged in cramped factory farms and is dripping in the blood of hundreds of dead seals. Buyer beware of Scottish salmon with a fake tan. Consumers should give Label Rouge the red card and immediately stop buying Scottish salmon."
Watch a video message from Don Staniford online here
Download the report - "Red Alert for Label Rouge - Lousy Label Goes Rogue" - in full as a PDF online here (12 MB large file)
For more details please read:
- Protest in Edinburgh - 16 March
- "25 Reasons to Boycott Scottish Salmon"
- "25 Years of Scottish Salmon Shame"
- "Celebrate" 25 years of "international success of Scottish salmon"?!