In 1992, Scottish salmon was the first fish and first non-French product to be awarded the Label Rouge quality mark, the official endorsement by the French authorities of the superior quality of a food or farmed product, particularly with regard to taste.
To obtain this recognition, a very stringent set of standards prepared by a group of producers must be approved. These standards establish the criteria which the product must meet throughout the production chain, including farming techniques, feed, processing and distribution.
Approval is officially announced through a joint decree from the Minister for Agriculture and Fisheries and the Minister for Consumer Affairs, on the recommendations of the National Institute for Origin and Quality (INAO). INAO is the French public body responsible for quality and origin marks relating to food products.
Scottish Quality Salmon is the standard owner of Label Rouge No. LA 33/90. Compliance with the standards is controlled by an independent certifying body, Acoura, formerly Food Certification International Ltd. Suppliers of whole Label Rouge Scottish salmon and Label Rouge Scottish salmon portions can be found on the Label Rouge Saumon Ecossais website.
In 2018 five Scottish salmon farmers grew Label Rouge certified fish, accounting for a record 9,200 tonnes.
Originally produced as a niche product for the premium French market and served in many of France's top restaurants, it is now sought-after in other European countries, including Switzerland and Germany, and further afield in the Middle East and Japan.
Watch the video below to learn more: