"The Label Rouge standard is not a standard designed to assess environmental or animal welfare criteria," admitted Scott Landsburgh, the Chief Executive of the Scottish Salmon Producers Organisation (SSPO) in a letter to Mark Ruskell MSP (who last week lodged a Parliamentary Motion on "Concerns Over Label Rouge Salmon Certification").
Read the SSPO's comments via Fish Update (7 March 2017):
For more background read:
- Parliamentary Motion: "Concerns Over Label Rouge Salmon Certification"
- Letter to French Government: "Label Rouge Saumon Ecossais - Quelle Horreur!"
- Protest in Edinburgh - 16 March
- "Red Alert for Label Rouge - Lousy Label Goes Rogue"
The SSPO's public admission that the Label Rouge standard "is not a standard designed to assess environmental or animal welfare criteria" may come as a surprise to many people who have been duped into believing that the Label Rouge is the industry's gold standard.
The SSPO's comments are particularly embarrassing for Acoura, the "independent certifying body" for Label Rouge Scottish salmon, who still boast on their web-site that:
"Assured Label Rouge Scottish Farmed Salmon goes through an extremely stringent assessment process. Each audit checks whether the salmon has been reared in accordance with best practice and with respect for fish welfare, the environment and sustainability."
Nor do SSPO members seem to have received Scott's memo that the Label Rouge "is not a standard designed to assess environmental or animal welfare criteria".
SSPO-member Cooke Aquaculture claim on their Label Rouge web-page: "Cooke Aquaculture Label Rouge salmon has been reared in accordance with best practice and with respect for fish welfare".
Label Rouge is also cited in Cooke Aquaculture's "sustainability" web-page under "Environment".
The SSPO's own invitation to the Label Rouge conference in 16 March invites people to "celebrate the renowned production of high quality, sustainable salmon".
Label Rouge is also cited in the SSPO's 2015 report "Sustaianable Scottish salmon".
Maybe the SSPO should change the colour of their so-called Gold Standard to a shade of bronze or maybe turd-like brown?
Whilst the SSPO are at it surely they should publish the Label Rouge standards online in English (rather than only online in French) so people can judge for themselves?