BioMar feed reinforces Scottish salmon farm’s commitment to sustainability

“Sustainability will be a Ticket to Play since consumers demand sustainable farmed food,” Carlos Díaz, CEO of BioMar, said.

Credits: Loch Duart
April 25, 2024

Just one year after introducing its groundbreaking Blue Impact feed, Loch Duart is celebrating its 25th anniversary by announcing that the new, improved diet means its salmon is now industry leading in health, low impact farming and purity. By maintaining high omega-3 levels, further reducing its carbon footprint, taking the lead in lowering its Foraged Fish Dependency Ratio and triple cleaning the fish oils in its feed, Loch Duart salmon has set a new standard for salmon quality and environmental impact.

In the announcement, made at the Barcelona Seafood Expo 2024, Loch Duart shared the details of its new feed results with key customers, aquaculture experts, and suppliers.

Left to right_Robert Wilson (Business Unit Director at BioMar), Chef Thomas Leatherbarrow, Chris Orr (Sales Director of Loch Duart)

Chris Orr, sales director of Loch Duart, said that “not all salmon are farmed equally and at Loch Duart, right from the very start 25 years ago, we’ve been committed to raising the standards of our industry by pioneering fish welfare and low-impact farming methods. Loch Duart Salmon’s bespoke Blue Impact diet, produced in partnership with our feed partners at BioMar, is a game-changer, which prioritizes low-impact feed ingredients and has circular and restorative thinking at its heart. The new feed is now *56.5% more carbon-friendly than standard farmed salmon diets and with a new Foraged Fish Dependency Ratio (FFDR) of just 0.33 Loch Duart now has a net positive marine output.”

“So what does this mean for chefs, restaurants and foodies? Well, our salmon isn’t just kinder on the planet, it’s healthier for customers too. The fish oil within the new feed is triple-cleaned, dramatically reducing dioxins, resulting in our feed having 67% fewer contaminants than standard farmed salmon diets. We are immensely proud to have taken this huge, positive step forward in our 25th anniversary year,” said Orr.

Robert Wilson, Business Unit Director at BioMar UK, said “Our Blue Impact diets were introduced to drive real improvements in key sustainability areas where aquaculture can make a significant environmental difference, including reducing the CO2 footprint, dependency on wild stocks and increasing the use of circular ingredients. Loch Duart embraced the principle from day one, switching their entire production to the new diet. We believe our Blue Impact diets are setting a new benchmark in sustainable feeds while maintaining the high-quality standards that Loch Duart Salmon is known for.”

Loch Duart Salmon, founded in Sutherland in the northwest of Scotland in 1999, has recently started harvesting the first group of fish that have solely been fed the new Blue Impact diet, throughout the time they have been raised on their farms. This means that from now on, all Loch Duart salmon are exceptionally healthy and low in natural contaminants. Loch Duart Salmon is supplied to leading hotels, Michelin-starred restaurants and retailers at home and across the world.

Chef Thomas Leatherbarrow who was at the announcement of the new, improved diet said, “I’ve been cooking with Loch Duart Salmon for years and the flavor profile is just unlike anything else; it’s a much healthier product to buy because its diet and bespoke feed mean it really is unrivaled tasting salmon.”

Sustainability as a Ticket to Play

Blue Impact feed is currently available in Norway, Scotland and other European countries, and also in Central America. BioMar is starting to introduce it in other markets such as the shrimp industry.

“In general, they are niche markets right now, specialized in sustainable products,” Carlos Díaz, CEO of BioMar, told However, the concept is expected to have a wider impact. “On the one hand, we have the example of Loch Duart which uses sustainability to differentiate the brand. They are a more niche market with much more value and more focused on HORECA. On the other hand, we have the big salmon farmers and I believe this is going to become a Ticket to Play. Especially in Europe, retailers are starting to demand that farmers have a sustainability statement and that they show continuous improvement,” Díaz said.

“Loch Duart is very focused on the brand. In general, not everyone has a product as differentiated as this one. You don't just have to create the concept, the food, the raw materials, etc., but you also have to help them with the branding, and that's another step. Loch Duart already had a branding and they added a new, sustainable attribute and created a very good story,” Díaz said.

Blue Impact is BioMar’s flagship product in terms of sustainability that allows farmers to continuously improve their sustainability journey by setting targets. “We help to create a story with very solid scientific bases,” Díaz said.

The company has other services to support its customers’ sustainability. “We have a digital sustainability tool that measures the carbon footprint and has all the parameters of all raw materials. Based on that, objectives are set on how to move forward and meet the Science Based Targets. That is important for the biggest farmers that need to comply with the big retailers’ sustainability goals,” Díaz said.

Discover is another tool that traces sustainability practices of farms from farm-gate back to the environmental impact of all raw materials. Through a QR code, consumers have access to all information to make their choice.

The recently launched ASC Feed Standard is also expected to contribute to increasing the sustainability of feed production, but not without challenges.

“The ASC Standard is on the right path, but of course, it is a challenge in terms of traceability. You have to do due diligence on the suppliers of every ingredient that has more than 1% of the diet and work with them, not only in the sustainable part but also in the social, labor part, etc. So it forces you to transform your sourcing department into a certified department of your suppliers. Moreover, not all suppliers have a sustainability department and we have to support them in their improvements,” Díaz said. “Internally, it is a challenge in terms of costs as well as resources and know-how, but the biggest challenge is the development of your suppliers because all need to be documented.”

“The ASC Feed Standard is a huge exercise of traceability and responsible sourcing, but I think it is on the right path. Like all things, at first, it is more difficult. I hope the ASC standard can be used as part of the narrative so farmers can use it and recover part of the investment. In the future, sustainability will be a Ticket to Play since consumers demand sustainable farmed food,” Díaz concluded.

Loch Duart’s new Blue Impact feed

  • 80% of salmon farming carbon emissions come from feed production: Loch Duart’s new feed is now 56.5% more carbon-friendly than standard farmed salmon diets
  • Our bespoke, high marine content feed includes trimmings from MSC-approved or Marine Trust fisheries, turning what would be waste into valuable and healthy food for our salmon
  • Loch Duart’s Foraged Fish Dependency Ratio (FFDR) dropped from 0.44 to 0.33 which is best in class for a premium salmon producer with industry-leading levels of omega-3.
  • By triple-cleaning the fish oil in our feed Loch Duart has considerably reduced dioxins content: in fact, our new feed has 67% less dioxins than standard salmon diets.

*SINTEF Report ‘Greenhouse gas emissions of Norwegian salmon products’ (Authors U. Johansen, A.A. Nistad, F. Ziegler, S. Mehta, M. Langeland, Y. Wocken, Erik.S. Hognes) Published Nov 2022