Europe’s second-largest producer of smoked salmon, France has chosen to focus on quality, with a “Smoked in France” label for salmon that will soon be opened up to trout as well.
As the country that consumes the most smoked salmon in Europe, France is also the second-largest producer of it in Europe, behind Poland. But France, which produced almost 23,000 tons in 2020 (as compared to 70,000 tons for Poland) has decided to make its offer stand out by betting on the reputation of “Made in France” and on the quality of its products.
“Our producers chose not to develop a low-cost offer, but to focus on top-of-the-line products instead. So being in second place means a lot,” says Jacques Trottier, president of the National Syndicate of Smoked Salmon and Trout Industries (STF), summing the situation up.
“Our producers chose not to develop a low-cost offer, but to focus on top-of-the-line products instead. So being in second place means a lot,” says Jacques Trottier, president of the National Syndicate of Smoked Salmon and Trout Industries (STF).
The French sector comprises some three dozen small- or medium-sized businesses that together employed approximately 3,000 people and generated over €700 million in revenue in 2018. Last year, domestic production supplied two-thirds of the smoked salmon available on the French market.
Smoked Salmon in France
In order to enable consumers to easily spot French fish smokers’ know-how, in 2018, the industry launched the “Smoked in France” label for salmon, which requires adhering to a charter with 70 different criteria. Companies that use the label undergo inspections by an independent body.
While France buys most of its salmon from Norway – the world’s largest producer – the Charter guarantees that every step of the process of preparing the smoked salmon – from receiving the fish to delivering it to distributors – is performed on French soil.
The logo is popular with producers, because by 2020, 85% of the smoked salmon produced in France bore the “Smoked in France” label. Encouraged by that success, the label will be opened to smoke trout by mid-2022.
Well entrenched in French people’s eating habits, smoked-salmon sales just keep climbing. They recorded a 5% increase between January and mid-October, after a spectacular leap of 8.5% over the same period last year. Smoked salmon, which has been following a similar trend, has leapt up 11%.
 Source: Adepale
 Source: National Syndicate of Smoked Salmon and Trout Industries (STF)