UK - The first and exclusive Freedom Food-labelled rainbow trout Loch Trout Fillets has been launched at 400 Sainsbury’s stores in the UK.
The fish come from open-sea farms in areas such as Loch Etive on the west coast of Scotland.
To replicate the natural migration of wild fish they start in fresh water before moving to sea lochs, allowing them to grow naturally, and resulting in a distinct flavour and texture.
Customers can find Scottish Loch Trout Fillets pre-packed fish aisle or on the counter, all carrying the Freedom Food label.
This is assurance the fish have been reared to the RSPCA’s strict welfare standards throughout the supply chain.
Sue Lucas, Sainsbury’s product developer said: “Animal welfare and where food comes from is of huge importance to our customers. So we’re delighted that our fresh Loch trout now carries the Freedom Food label, independently marking it as higher welfare.”
This is good news for consumers as increasing numbers of people choose fish on health grounds, yet worry about sustainability and animal welfare. Trout is one of the fish recommended in this year’s Switch the Fish campaign, Sainsbury’s campaign to encourage consumers to try alternative species of fish, in addition to the popular ‘Big 5’2 which make up 80 per cent of fish sales in the UK.
Recent demand for more sustainable fish – and the success of Freedom Food labelled farmed salmon – has led producers to ask the RSPCA to develop welfare standards for trout which were published earlier this year.
John Avizienius, who wrote the standards for the RSPCA, said: “The RSPCA welfare standards address all of the important areas in the life of the fish, and it has been very interesting working together with producers to produce a set of standards which will improve the welfare of the fish.”
Dawn Fresh are the first producer to adopt the RSPCA welfare standards for trout.
Richard Hopewell fish health manager said: “Farming under the Freedom Food scheme with the RSPCA welfare standards raises the game – it makes us better fish farmers.”
The RSPCA first published welfare standards for farmed rainbow trout in February 2014. The standards cover the whole life-cycle of the fish – from the egg all the way through to slaughter, including all handling and transport.
Jeremy Cooper, Chief Executive of Freedom Food said: “This is a major milestone for trout welfare – for the first time, consumers can choose trout from a certified higher-welfare source and we are delighted to have worked with Sainsbury’s and Dawn Fresh to help make this happen. We hope this will encourage more producers to farm to RSPCA welfare standards”
Quick and easy to prepare, Rainbow trout is also really versatile and can be used like salmon in recipes such as Risotto with trout and kale.
Sainsbury’s already sells more Freedom Food-labelled products than any other supermarket. This new addition is a landmark for trout welfare.
TheFishSite News Desk