Eco-label unlocks Young’s langoustine sales

Marine Stewardship Council-labeled langoustines are opening up sales opportunities for Young’s Seafood.

Beginning next month, the UK frozen food firm will supply retailer Sainsbury’s with its Premium Whole Isle of Lewis Scampi.

Claiming to be the United Kingdom’s first certified sustainable scampi, the product is made with whole langoustine tails harvested by Scotland’s Stornoway Western Isles langoustine fishery.

“Not only are we seeing the fruits of our labor in the UK, [but] our exports of whole langoustine have grown by 50 percent,” said John Nicolson of Young’s Seafood in Stornoway, which is part of the Findus Group. “The MSC certification has truly opened up markets that without it we would never have managed to enter.”

Supported by a GBP 1 million (USD 1.6 million, EUR 1.1 million) financial injection from Young’s Seafood, the Scottish langoustine fishery achieved MSC certification in April after a year-long assessment process. According to Young’s, the Western Isles langoustine fishery became the world’s first trawl-caught langoustine fishery to achieve MSC certification as a sustainable and well-managed fishery.

Young’s buys around GBP 2.5 million (USD 4.1 million, EUR 2.78 million) of langoustines from the Stornoway Western Isles fishery annually, and the crustacean is peeled for scampi at Young’s Stornoway processing facility on Goat Island. The scampi is coated and packed in Grimsby.

Underlining the potential financial gains for seafood firms participating in the MSC program, Scottish Environment Secretary Richard Lochhead said: “This is a timely and tremendous boost for fishermen on the Western Isles. The fact that exports have shot up 50 percent in such a short space of time during the economic downturn is a remarkable success story and a real shot in the arm for the island.”

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