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The Future of Sustainable Salmon Feed: A Call to Action

Forum for the Future’s focus on animal feed has often looked at land-based animals, but last year’s attention moved to aquaculture, and more specifically, salmon feed. The salmon farming industry is seen by many to take a leadership position on feed innovation and is increasingly looking at feed source sustainability. 

Every industry is working with disruption from climate change to supply chain volatility, and needs to consider how to build and contribute to a resilient and future-proof food system. 

Salmon feed (similar to other animal feed) can account for up to 90% of the environmental impact associated with salmon production. It is important to recognise that salmon plays an important role in highlighting the struggles and challenges facing the farming industry as a whole. There is the opportunity for it to take ambitious action, and be a role model for the aquaculture industry and potentially wider regenerative farming system.

We recently delivered an Action Sprint, which was independently facilitated by Forum for the Future, and supported by WWF-UK and Tesco. Whilst it paid attention to salmon feed, the process surfaced learnings and principles that can address the wider (aquaculture) sector. The aim of this process was to build on existing efforts around aquaculture, feed sustainability certification standards, and critically stretch those to bring a higher level of ambition when creating a future-fit world. This included ensuring difficult questions were asked such as: what does the nutritional profile of salmon feed look like in a just and regenerative world, how can this be achieved within planetary boundaries, and how can we ensure everyone involved (from the producers to the salmon) are enabled to thrive? We wanted to catalyse a shared agenda for ambitious leadership on salmon feed, with a focus on the European salmon industry in particular. 

Whenever we have dialogues about salmon or salmon feed sustainability we inevitably cover similar themes but this Action Sprint brought a very different angle. Using future scenarios created a different kind of conversation for the salmon industry and the process enabled a more constructive and ambitious approach. I hope we can continue in this vein.

Sophie Ryan, Global Salmon Initiative

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