Atlantic salmon (Salmo salar) ranks third among the most consumed fish species within the European Union, with an overall market estimated about 920.000 tonnes GWE (Gross Weight Equivalent) in 2017.
Information source: EUMOFA Press release
The EU market is mostly supplied by imports from Northern European countries: mainly Norway, Iceland and the Faroe Islands, however the EU self-sufficiency rate for salmon was 16% in 2016, with 175.000 tonnes almost exclusively produced by Scottish and Irish farms.
Linked to the trend for responsibly produced food, the production of organic salmon in Norway, Ireland, and Scotland grew by 43% between 2014 and 2017, with Irish production increasing twofold in volume. In 2017, almost all salmon production in Ireland was organic.
THE IRISH MARKET
Ireland, the main EU country in terms of production for organic salmon, ranks third in the EU for salmon consumption, with a rate of 4,7 kg per capita in 2017. In the same year, almost half of the organic salmon farmed in Ireland was consumed in the domestic market. The volume exported has increased by 500% since 2012, due to growing demand in the EU market.
THE FRENCH MARKET
France, one of the two biggest markets for salmon products within the EU, is the main importer of Irish salmon. However, consumption has decreased by more than 5.000 tonnes from 2013 to 2016, to a level of around 21.000 tonnes in 2017.
THE GERMAN MARKET
Germany, the other biggest market for salmon products within the EU, is also both the largest market for organic food and the second largest market for organic fish. The demand for convenience salmon products (portioned, pre-packed, ready to cook etc.) has been growing rapidly since 2013, and purchases of fresh, pre-packed salmon products boomed by +875% in 2016.
THE UK MARKET
The United Kingdom was the second largest producer of organic salmon in the EU, with Scottish aquaculture production of around 3.000 tonnes in 2017. The country was also the most significant market for organic fish with consumption growth of +40% between 2013 and 2017.
* The analyses reported in this study were carried out in the first semester of 2019, when the UK was still a Member State of the European Union.