By Fiona O’Halloran-Johnson, NWSH Sustainability Chief and smoked Atlantic Salmon lover
Here at the Smokehaus we go through a lot of fish, specifically smoked Atlantic salmon. It goes on our sandwiches both at the deli and the restaurant, on catering platters, it’s shipped straight to your door, or goes home in your bag on your way out of Duluth.
For many years we have been committed to providing you with delicious smoked fish and smoked meats, while adhering to sustainable practices throughout the business – from composting to bike delivery. We have been working on creating programs to decrease our overall waste and impact here at home, but that’s not enough. We have a responsibility to know about our meat and fish, not just the process of how we make it so tasty, but where it comes from.
We are one of the largest buyers of Atlantic salmon in the United States. Yes, our humble little shop buys more Atlantic salmon than restaurants in New York, or huge resorts in California. With this, we have felt a responsibility to look for a sustainable source of salmon that could keep up with our high demands. Prior to the switch, we have been getting Atlantic salmon off the coast of Chile. While there were many positive attributes to this salmon, simply the length of travel was enough for us to realize we needed a more sustainable source.
We began to look for an option closer to home, but we were not willing to compromise our commitment to sustainable aquatic farming. There is so much that can go wrong when farming fish, from assuring water is not permanently polluted, to making sure the fish are not carrying disease, such as sea lice, that can be transferred to the native populations of aquatic life. We also wanted product that was not full of chemicals, dyes and hormones. We had set our standards pretty high.
And then we found True North.
We are thrilled to announce that we are now selling Smoked Atlantic Salmon made from True North Salmon Company, a family owned company based out of New Brunswick, Canada. This is exciting for us because we have been concerned about our environmental impact on aquatic life for some time now.
True North is certified to the Best Aquaculture Practices and the British Retail Consortium Global Standard for Food Safety.
True North is the quintessential sustainable fish farm.
True North uses ocean pens, but rotates crops regularly and uses a fallowing system to ensure that the water and ocean floor rest in between crops. They also stock their salmon in pens at a rate of less than 2% percent of the volume of the pen, which means these salmon have plenty of room to swim around freely and develop healthy muscle tissues naturally. Their fish also grow on a natural cycle, with no growth hormones, taking two years for the fish to make it to market.
True North is committed to finding fish food that is made sustainably. They use fish meal and oil that are byproducts of fish that is harvested for human consumption, maintaining equilibrium in the local aquatic life. True North has decreased its carbon footprint by using fuel-efficient trucks, and driving a little slower to reduce their carbon emissions when transporting their fish. With their commitment to preserving fresh water they also have a water recycling and filtration system at their freshwater hatcheries. They have also invested in shipping boxes that are made from 100% recycled material.
We are excited about our new Atlantic salmon provider, and we’re excited about taking another big step towards consuming smoked Atlantic salmon responsibly so we can keep making all your delicious snacks for years to come.
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