Right of Reply: Lord Lindsay

The chairman of Scottish Quality Salmon replies

to a leading article

that criticised modern


methods in Scotland

YOUR LEADING article yesterday presented a very partisan view of the Scottish salmon industry and, on behalf of the 6,500 people employed, mostly in remote rural areas of the Highlands and Islands, I should like to redress the balance.

The Scottish salmon-farming industry is the most tightly regulated in the world; every stage of the salmon-farming process is rigorously controlled to safeguard the welfare of the fish and the environment. The measures are developed with and supported by the industry. Members of Scottish Quality Salmon are further scrutinised from sea to shop, to allow them to market their salmon under the Tartan quality mark.

You rightly point out that embracing the impressive Scottish heritage of superb quality food is the way ahead, and that is precisely the strategy adopted by Scottish Quality Salmon members who are delivering Tartan quality mark salmon to independent and multiple retailers across the UK and to major French retailers, under the internationally acclaimed Label Rouge. Tartan quality mark salmon was the first, and remains the only, non-French product to be awarded this accolade by the French ministry. Even the master chefs of France, who are among the most discerning in the world, endorse Tartan quality mark salmon.

It is, of course, in the interests of the Scottish salmon-farming industry to safeguard the marine environment in which it operates and all members of Scottish Quality Salmon are totally committed to working with the Scottish Executive and other fisheries interests on this issue. The thousands of jobs that support fragile rural economies and communities in Scotland depend on a long-term, sustainable future for this important Scottish industry.