Supermarket Perimeter - August 2020 - 51

Seafood From Norway
celebrates anniversary
Spring 2020 marked the 50th anniversary
of the first-ever successfully farmed salmon
in Norway.
On May 28, 1970, off the coast of Norway,
brothers Ove and Sivert Grøntvedt installed
their floating open net pen in Norway's cold
and clear waters, said Anne-Kristine Øen, US
director for the Tromso-based Norwegian
Seafood Council.
Norway was the first, and remains the
largest, Atlantic salmon farming nation,
producing more than half of the world's
farmed salmon.
Salmon farming has come a long way
since 1970, and today Norwegian salmon is
a global commodity. Every day, Øen said, 14
million meals of Norwegian farmed salmon
are enjoyed on dinner tables and in restaurants
across the world.
One million of the 14 million meals of
Norwegian salmon are consumed in the
United States, as well as many other species of
Norwegian seafood.
"Norwegian seafood is a safe, sustainable
option that provides a delicious way to add
nutrition, variety and flavor to diets to help
consumers feel good about what they are
consuming," Øen said.
In an exclusive Q and A, Øen discussed
the past, present and next 50 years for the
Norwegian industry and its commitment to
sustainability.

ASMI, SEAFOOD FROM NORWAY

Supermarket Perimeter: What is SFN
doing to celebrate the 50th anniversary?
Øen: The planned celebratory event with
the Norwegian industry was postponed due
to the COVID-19 pandemic. Next spring,
which will be the 50th anniversary of the first
harvest of farmed Atlantic salmon, there will
hopefully be a celebration where some of the
salmon farming pioneers and industry leaders
come together to mark the occasion. The
anniversary is an opportunity to look back at
past challenges and achievements, and to look
forward.
SP: How has salmon farming in Norway
changed over the decades?
Øen: Over the course of 50 years of salmon
farming, Norwegian salmon has become the
most popular fish in the world (most preferred

species and country of origin, SCI 2020). It
was May 1970 when brothers Ove and Sivert
Grøntvedt released what was to become
the first successful generation of farmed
salmon into their floating sea pen, which laid
the foundations for modern aquaculture in
Norway and abroad. The first generation of
farmed salmon was harvested in 1971, and
this launched Norwegian aquaculture into a
pattern of rapid growth.
In subsequent years, Norway passed laws
regulating the quality and fish welfare on
salmon farms. Throughout the 1980s, salmon
farms along the entire Norwegian coastline
began to appear. Salmon from Norway
is becoming increasingly popular among
consumers in the US and Europe.
Between 1986 and 1991 the introduction of
Norwegian salmon in Japanese sushi creates
an export boom to Japan.
SP: Specifically looking at sustainability, how
have those standards/expectations/practices
changed?
Øen: As the world looks to more sustainable
food production, modern aquaculture
technology stands out as a major contributor
both to meeting the ever-increasing demand
for proteins, and as part of the solution to
battling climate change.
Today's consumers are more aware of
where their food is being produced than ever
before; according to 2020 International Food
Information Council (IFIC) research, 60% want
to know all about the food's journey. In fact,
many companies within the food industry
are becoming more transparent with their
practices and the origin of their food. The
desire to know where food comes from is
becoming more popular also with seafood.
Consumers want to ensure that the seafood
they are purchasing is sustainable and from
a reputable place. Grocery retailers and
producers have a tremendous opportunity
to showcase where, how and why food is
produced today.
In the world of sustainably conscious
consumers, we are now able to tell the whole
story. IFIC research indicates that 59% of
consumers believe there is a general threshold
of sustainable quality that products should
meet; we know foods from certain regions are
perceived as safer than others.
It is very important to us that consumers
supermarketperimeter.com

Anne-Kristine
Øen is pushing
boundaries in
sustainability,
technology

know that they can trust Norwegian seafood.
To maintain our high safety standards,
the Scientific Committee for Food Safety
conducts regular risk assessments, while the
Norwegian Food Safety Authority introduces
new measures and guidelines to ensure
that Norwegian seafood is always safe and
enjoyable to eat.
We rely on many different organizations to
ensure that we are practicing safe, sustainable
fishing and aquaculture in Norway and the
Norwegian model means full transparency
and collaboration between industry, research
institutions and regulative bodies.
Norway is one of consumers' most trusted
sources for seafood because of the national
commitment to sustainability. According to
Datassential, 38% agree that origin matters,
especially when it comes to the quality of the
product they are purchasing.
SP: What about the Norwegian salmon
industry excites you most in the coming years?
Øen: Modern aquaculture is still a relatively
young industry, but its importance to global
food security and meeting climate change
challenges is massive. The Norwegian salmon
industry are continuously pushing boundaries
in technology, and there are so many exciting
developments happening in areas such as feed
composition, farm design, sustainability and
product development. All this is really exciting,
and we believe the industry can be a driving
force for sustainable food production and
increased seafood consumption across the
world.
AUGUST 2020 - 51


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