Foster welcomes first harvest of Glenarm organic salmon

Enterprise Minister Arlene Foster today announced that Glenarm Organic Salmon has re-established itself as the preferred choice of top international chefs.

Glenarm Organic Salmon, which produces a range of salmon products for the premium organic fish market, has been assisted by Invest Northern Ireland (Invest NI), particularly in activities such as marketing. During the visit Arlene Foster was able to view the salmon, raised on a unique sea farm in the Irish Sea, close to the Northern Ireland coast.

The Minister said demand for the premium seafood is already strong from top restaurants in Europe and the US. She said: "The re-emergence of the brand is a triumph for the Northern Salmon Company which saw salmon in its seawater farms totally wiped out by an unprecedented jellyfish invasion in November 2007.

“Thanks to new investors, the company has recovered from the catastrophe with sea pens in Red Bay and Glenarm Bay now restocked with salmon. Invest NI has provided support for the company to develop its processing capability and to help with rebuilding its brand. The premium salmon is now being marketed under the Glenarm Organic Salmon brand, having secured organic status in 2001 with certification from the influential Organic Food Federation (OFF).

“The company’s achievement is very encouraging news for the Northern Ireland food industry and establishes the region as a prime supplier of organic salmon. The Northern Ireland food and drink sector is our biggest manufacturing industry and has huge potential to develop sales in international markets. This success will help the company as it seeks to expand its business and range of products.”

The company uses only organic ingredients from a nearby feed mill in line with its focus on rearing salmon to the OFF’s strict requirements and the RSPCA’s, ‘Five Freedoms’. This ensures the maintenance of the highest standards.

Glenarm’s previous clients, before the catastrophic jellyfish attack, are already ordering products. They include Michelin-starred chefs and gourmet restaurants in the UK, France, Belgium, Germany and the US. Invest NI is assisting the company in marketing its products abroad.

John Russell, Managing Director of Glenarm Organic Salmon, said: “There is tremendous interest in the salmon especially from top chefs and premium restaurants in Great Britain. In addition, we have also had approaches from the US for the products.

“What sets our salmon apart is the flavour that comes from being raised in seawater farms located in the coastal water of the Irish Sea, where the currents and tidal flows ensure optimal exercise and firm muscle formation. They are raised in a wonderfully clean environment in the only organic salmon farms on the coast of Northern Ireland. The fish have plenty of room to grow and are nourished with a diet using only natural and organic ingredients from sustainable sources,” he added.