Skip to main content

Member Portal

Blogs & News

Rethinking Global Food Production: Driving Change and Exploring The Link Between Transparency and Innovation


Farmed Salmon Sector Leads the Way in Transparent Reporting of Sustainability Data and Sees Impact of Innovation

MILAN, ITALY – MAY 8, 2019, 10:00 CET: Today at the Seeds&Chips Global Food Innovation Summit in Milan, Italy, the Global Salmon Initiative (GSI) released its annual Sustainability Report, providing 6 years’ of data across 14 key indicators – 9 environmental and 5 social – for 14 of the world’s leading salmon farming companies.

Speaking from Seeds&Chips, GSI Convenor Avrim Lazar commented: “Current food models need deep and rapid change, and this will not be achieved if we only work as individual companies, one issue at a time. What we need is systemic change across entire sectors. This kind of change at speed and scale is being achieved by the Global Salmon Initiative. The GSI model puts companies environmental efforts into a pre-competitive space, collectively setting very ambitious goals, committing to radical transparency and freely sharing solutions between them. The result is significant environmental improvement for the whole sector. Today’s launch of the 6th Sustainability Report documents that progress across many of the industry’s key sustainability metrics.”

The report, which includes data for all 14 GSI members, across 8 regions, accounting for more than half of global production, demonstrates a number of long-term positive trends, which are a result of the group’s continuing focus on industry innovation and best-practice sharing, in regard to environmental improvements.

“Transparency is a key component in driving change. By being transparent we are saying we are here for the long-term. We acknowledge improvements are still needed, and through transparency we are being open and truthful with ourselves and our stakeholders about our continuous journey in ensuring farmed salmon is a healthy and sustainable protein option for the future,” added Lazar.

GSI is one example of industry leadership being highlighted at today’s Seeds&Chips Summit, which is showing that by bringing together industry stakeholders, we can speed up the critical changes needed to restructure global food systems to meet increasing needs and changing ecosystems.

“If we are to respond to changing demands from both consumers and the planet, we need to innovate,” added Lazar. “What we have learned from the GSI is that through greater transparency and by being open to collaboration, when it comes to environmental performance we were able to identify areas where innovation is most urgently needed. Then through the collective power of the group, we have the means to mobilize and initiate the further advancement of novel ideas – something we have observed has real impact when it comes to disease management and improving feed efficiencies, both areas where the report shows significant progress.”

Speaking with Mowi CEO and GSI Co-Chair Alf-Helge Aarskog, he added: “As we share the 6th year of sustainability data, it is interesting to see that the areas we identified as priority for the GSI to work on (biosecurity, sourcing of sustainable feed and independent certification) and the areas showing greatest progress in the report are the same. Clearly this shows that if we focus and coordinate efforts we can have a significant impact on improving environmental performance.”

“As consumers start to make more informed choices on what to eat, farmed salmon not only offers a healthy choice, but also cements itself as one of the most eco-efficient and responsible protein options available,” noted Lazar. “The task now is how we continue to maintain this profile as the industry grows. Ongoing transparency and collaboration will undoubtedly play crucial roles.”

Key trends from the Sustainability Report include:

  • Farmed salmon continues to be one of the most eco-efficient forms of animal protein production – with the lowest carbon footprint, lowest feed conversion ratio, and lowest land use
  • Over 620,000 tons of GSI farmed salmon are now Aquaculture Stewardship Council (ASC) certified from over 185 farms worldwide, and represent almost 60% of total GSI members’ production
  • In analyzing 6 years of data, a number of positive trends can be identified:
    • A 50% decrease in the use of sea lice treatments, coupled with a 120% increase in use of non-medicinal methods – technological advancements and best-practice sharing have facilitated this move to a more holistic approach to sea lice management
    • The amount of fishmeal and fish oil in feed reduced by 17% and 9% respectively, resulting in an overall 11% decrease in the use of marine ingredients in feed – due to innovations in the sourcing of feed ingredients

To view the GSI Sustainability Report please click here.

Shining a light on the GSI Sustainability Report

As the Report shines a light on industry performance, here are some examples of what this means in practice:

GSI member Camanchaca discussing the many best practices they have implemented to ensure optimal fish health and the highest operating standards across their farms:

GSI Convenor Avrim Lazar shares some key insights into the GSI Sustainability Report as well as why it’s so important for companies to hold themselves accountable against their goals:


Seeds&Chips is the largest international event solely dedicated to groundbreaking food solutions from farm to fork and beyond. Avrim Lazar is speaking in the session ‘Chain Reaction: Solutions for Improving the Global Food Supply Chain’ on May 8, 14:30 CET.


The Global Salmon Initiative (GSI) is a leadership initiative established in 2013 by global farmed salmon producers focused on making significant progress on industry sustainability. Today, the GSI comprises 14 companies – representing approximately 50% of the global salmon production industry – that are fully committed to realizing a shared goal of providing a highly sustainable source of healthy food to feed a growing global population, whilst minimizing our environmental footprint, and continuing to improve our social contribution.

GSI member companies are Australis Seafoods S.A.; Bakkafrost; Blumar; Cermaq; Compañía Pesquera Camanchaca; Empresas AquaChile; Grieg Seafood ASA; Mowi; Multiexport Foods S.A.; New Zealand King Salmon; Nova Sea AS; Salmones Austral; Tassal; and Ventisqueros. GSI companies have a presence in Australia, Canada, Chile, the Faroe Islands, Ireland, New Zealand, Norway and the UK, and make significant contributions to the economies of these respective countries.

The GSI also has a number of Associate Members in both the pharmaceutical and feed industries, including Benchmark Holdings plc; BioMar; Cargill; Elanco; Merck, Sharpe and Dohme (MSD) Animal Health; PHARMAQ; Salmofood; and Skretting.

For further information on the GSI, please visit or contact us at:


To reach GSI’s vision of providing healthy protein at less environmental cost – change is needed. Aquaculture is one possible solution to our future food challenges, being one of the most eco-efficient ways of producing protein, and salmon farming is leading the way in aquaculture innovation. Members of the GSI have outlined their pathways to a sustainable future for aquaculture. For more information, please visit our blog at

Media contacts:

Sophie Ryan
+1 604 506 8414

Cameron Donald
+447710 388627