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Red faces at Tesco

Flying the saltire … because every little helps

… er, guys, these products are Norwegian not Scottish.
… er, guys, these products are Norwegian not Scottish.

Don Staniford’s Global Alliance Against Aquaculture (GAAA) has won a stunning victory over Tesco in connection with the branding of farm salmon products as ‘Scottish’ when in fact they were Norwegian. As reported by Mark Macskill in The Times, hundreds of Tesco stores across the country have been promoting Scottish farmed salmon with Saltires, flags and ‘I’m Scottish’ flyers.

Tesco staff have now been ordered to ‘tone down’ the campaign after the GAAA pointed out that in many cases farmed salmon billed as Scottish had been imported as eggs from Norway and reared on Scottish farms before reaching supermarket shelves. Tesco apologised after Staniford wrote to chief executive Phillip Clarke accusing Tesco’s of misleading customers at branches in Edinburgh, Perth and Inverness.

Staniford said: “Tesco’s blatant breaches of trading standards make a mockery of their claims to be promoting Scottish salmon. Surely Tesco should be selling exclusively Scottish salmon, not flooding its supermarket shelves with Norwegian farmed salmon?” John Robins, a long-time critic of industrial salmon farming and secretary of Animal Concern and Save our Seals Fund commented: “Tesco admitted to me that a small amount of their salmon is sourced in Scotland. Despite this they have saturated stores with saltires. This is could be an illegal attempt at misleading consumers into buying Norwegian salmon in the belief it is Scottish.”

A Tesco spokesman said: “These signs were put in the wrong place by mistake. The products were clearly marked with their country of origin. We are working with our stores across Scotland to make sure only Scottish products are displayed in cabinets that feature Scottish flags and signs.” According to the Department of Environment, Food and Rural affairs, exports of farmed salmon rose about 51% in 2003-2013, from 73,000 tonnes to 111,000 tonnes, but over the same period imports rose by 520%, from 11,000 tonnes to 69,000 tonnes.

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