Organic Salmon in Norway



Norwegian salmon industry has a rich historical tradition, which today represents a successful global export market. Starting in 1990, farmers and producers began the production of organic salmon. It was implemented with a heavy focus on environmental sustainability. There are currently two organically certified salmon producers in Norway who are subject to regulations which are intended to limit – or ideally to entirely avoid – environmental harm. In particular, organic certification requires that salmon have larger cages and are fed with organic fish trimmings. Additionally, organic farms must comply with different regulations for vaccination and water oxygen to conventional farms. The resulting organic product is natural in color and has a different structure of omega 3-fat compared to the conventional reference product. The value chain of organic salmon in Norway is highly regulated and is characterized by strong governance at farm level. Furthermore, the farming, processing, and retailing of this supply chain is well integrated as these three levels often overlap. Comparing organic and conventional salmon production across several indicators of economic, social, and environmental sustainability, this chapter offers some insight into both supply chains. Organic salmon performs slightly better in terms of economic sustainability (mostly driven by consumer prices and profitability) and environmental sustainability as a whole. Results for social sustainability are mixed although in absolute terms, both supply chains are fairly sustainable in terms of equal gender opportunities.



The authors would like to thank all key stakeholders who provided essential information about organically farmed salmon in Norway. The authors would particularly like to thank Jan-Widar Finden, Bernt Aarset, Martin Øvrebø, Roy Alapnes, and Tor Egil Skaar – for providing helpful insight into the historical background of salmon farming, organic certification, and details about the entire value chain of organically farmed salmon in Norway.


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Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Consumption Research Norway SIFO – Oslo Metropolitan UniversityOsloNorway

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