Last year on October 10, Hiddenfjord stopped all use of air freight, making it the first salmon producer in the world to rely purely on more sustainable, low-emission transportation of goods. In a film produced to mark this major milestone, the company details how using ocean-going ships to deliver fresh salmon to customers in Europe and North America has led to a 94 percent reduction in carbon emissions associated with overseas transportation after just one year.
“We believe that salmon are meant to swim, not to fly,” said CEO Atli Gregersen. “More importantly, we believe we have a responsibility, not just to deliver the best possible salmon but to do so in the most sustainable way.”
While salmon farming has a much lower environmental impact than many of the most popular animal proteins, a large segment of farmed salmon is exported by air. Airfreight is a major contributor to global CO2 emissions. A 2020 report from the Norwegian research organisation SINTEF showed that freight carried by air produces around 50 times more CO2 than transoceanic sea freight.
For Hiddenfjord, achieving this goal while preserving the quality of its salmon has not been easy — it involved a great deal of ingenuity and invention in its operating procedures. To accomplish this, the company devised a unique processing and cooling system to keep its salmon fresh while also rethinking its entire global distribution chain.
“We have proven that our salmon is still just as good as salmon transported by air,” said Gregersen, announcing the results of a recent survey conducted by the Consumer Evaluation Center. In a blind taste-test of salmon shipped by air and sea, more than 100 consumers could not tell the difference and rated both equally favourably in categories of taste, texture, and aroma. “By creating a unique processing and cooling system and optimising our sea transportation process, where we control the salmon’s temperature at all times, we have kept the quality of our sea-raised salmon high and even made it so that the salmon lasts longer.”