A Faroese salmon farmer has suspended all air freight used to transport Atlantic salmon to markets.
Atli Gregersen, the managing director and owner of Hiddenfjord, said it was “ethically, absolutely the right decision”.
The switch to sea freight — the firm suspended flights in October — will help reduce the firm’s carbon footprint by 94%. Air freight is a major contributor to global CO2 emissions and emits around 50 times as much CO2 as sea freight.
The decision is an industry first, the firm said.
“This was a challenging decision for us,” Gregersen. “[But] if we claim that we want to be a truly sustainable company, we must take responsible actions.”
The firm may receive lower prices and a much higher risk because of reduced flexibility in reaching far-away markets. However, sales growth has been good, it said, and new customers concerned about sustainability have been in touch.
Independent research also shows sea freight has not impacted salmon quality, the firm said.
“Salmon already has a much lower carbon footprint than other animal foods such as pork or beef but replacing air freight with sea freight makes it a very sustainable food choice,” the firm said.
Hiddenfjord farms Atlantic salmonn in the north Atlantic in pens placed in exposed sites with high waves and strong currents. The conditions are the closest to the salmon’s natural environment.
Hiddenfjord also uses a unique concept of “stress-free harvesting” that utilizes the salmon’s natural instinct to swim against the current. “Salmon is guided from the open sea pens to the harvesting basin and stunned without stress,” said the firm.