The independent business, which produces around 5,200 tonnes of salmon a year from sites in Sutherland and the Outer Hebrides, has teamed up with Oritain, experts in scientifically proving the origin of food products, to prevent food fraudsters from passing off other salmon as Loch Duart’s.
With many of the world’s top restaurants and fish wholesalers asking for Loch Duart salmon by name, there is a risk that unscrupulous suppliers try to represent other salmon as Loch Duart. Oritain’s testing measures trace elements that occur naturally at each farm and are absorbed by the salmon raised there. Further analysis creates a unique fingerprint that is then used to verify the origin of the fish.
It is estimated that food fraud affects at least 10 percent of the global food supply chain at a cost to the industry in excess of $50 billion per year.
From 2018, Oritain will provide Loch Duart with this independent food fingerprinting service, with its origins in forensic science, to help protect its brand. This means that the Scottish firm will now be able to audit at any stage in the supply chain and determine exactly where the salmon being tested originates from. Loch Duart will be first fish farmer in the northern hemisphere to use the technology.
Alban Denton, Managing Director of Loch Duart, said: “Loch Duart’s really proud of our extraordinary tasting salmon which is asked for by name worldwide. If another salmon is ‘passed off’ as ours, consumers are being both exploited and misled. Our distributors have told us that it happens, now we’re partnering with Oritain to ‘police’ the supply chain. We’re determined to do everything we can to protect our world-renowned brand and ensure that when people ask for Loch Duart salmon they can be completely certain this is what they are getting.
“Consumers must get what they order and what they are paying for. Oritain’s forensic approach to scientifically fingerprinting the origin of our fish means that we can verify the origin of our fresh salmon – wherever the consumers are in the world.”
Oritain UK Executive Director, Rupert Hodges, said:"Oritain works hard to protect the reputations of some of the world's leading brands. We're therefore delighted to be able to scientifically underpin the provenance story for Loch Duart's world renowned salmon. Our pioneering use of forensic analysis allows us to not only identify the country and region from which the salmon we test is from, we can actually trace it back to the individual farm. This means that from now on customers across the globe, can be assured that when they buy Loch Duart salmon, we can prove that it is what they are getting.”