OAKLAND, Calif., (March 11, 2021) – Today, Fair Trade USA – the leading certifier of fair trade products in North America – announces that Kvarøy Arctic, the third-generation sustainable Atlantic salmon producer from Norway, is the first salmon farm globally to receive Fair Trade USA certification after a rigorous vetting process of the farm’s social, environmental, and economic impacts. The Fair Trade Certified seal will now be carried on all Kvarøy Arctic fresh, frozen, burgers, hot dogs, and smoked salmon sold in the United States.
Fair Trade USA is the first and only tool available to offer industry and consumers a holistic choice in sourcing responsible seafood by addressing impacts through social, environmental and economic issues throughout the supply chain. Underpinned by a human rights approach, Fair Trade USA standards go beyond fisheries and farms by protecting the rights of workers within the certified company and its supply chain. As part of this process, all of Kvarøy Arctic’s processors including Vega Salmon, Het Urker, Eat Salmon of Norway and Santa Barbara Smokehouse now also carry the Fair Trade USA Certified seal, which signifies the products were grown, harvested, manufactured, and traded in ways that improve livelihoods and protect the environment.
“We have a 360 approach to sustainability and place equity and employee wellness with the highest priority,” says Kvarøy Arctic CEO Alf-Gøran Knutsen. “Now we have a recognizable Fair Trade USA seal on our products so people discovering our salmon for the first time know we care deeply and have a thoughtful approach to supporting our teams.”
Of the nearly 80 people residing on Kvarøy Island, all of them are connected to the island’s namesake business and the family-owned company is intrinsically tied to the local school. Through the Fair Trade USA program, an extra sum paid by Kvarøy Arctic will go directly to its farmers and workers to support community development projects and education. A democratically-elected body of farmers will manage the Community Development Funds and projects, which will focus on improving the livelihoods and futures of the workers and their families.
“Through our seafood program, fishers, farmers and workers have earned an additional two million dollars in Community Development Funds, which they have put to use on environmental impact projects like habitat protection, pollution cleanup, and much more,” said Paul Rice, Founder and CEO of Fair Trade USA. “With aquaculture supplying more than half of all seafood for consumption today and continuing to grow, we’re bringing these same protections and benefits to producers of cultured seafood and fostering socially responsible growth in the industry. We’re grateful for this partnership with Kvarøy Arctic and their commitment to their farming community.”
Since launching in the USA in February 2020, Kvarøy Arctic has committed to implementing technology and achieving Fair Trade USA certification that substantiates its mission of responsible, sustainable aquaculture to feed the world. “It’s not possible to decouple environmental sustainability from economic stability,” says Kvarøy Arctic Strategic Development Officer Jennifer Bushman. “It’s time to commit to higher standards in the industry and this is one of many programs, including the Women in Aquaculture program we started last year, that will serve that purpose.”
Kvarøy Arctic is currently available through wholesale distribution in the U.S., Pod Foods, at restaurants, for direct delivery on FultonFishMarket.com, and at retail through select retailers like Cherry Hill Market, Cox Farms Market, Acorn Acres, and Whole Foods Market U.S. locations.
About Fair Trade USA
Fair Trade USA is a tax-exempt 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization and the leading certifier of fair trade products in North America. Its trusted Fair Trade Certified seal on a product signifies that it was made according to rigorous fair trade standards that promote sustainable livelihoods and safe working conditions, protection of the environment, and strong, transparent supply chains. Rather than creating dependency on aid, Fair Trade USA’s model empowers farmers, workers, and fishermen to fight poverty and earn additional money to improve their communities. Winner of Fast Company’s Social Enterprise of the Year Award and recognized as a leading social venture by the Clinton Global Initiative, the Skoll Foundation, and Ashoka, Fair Trade USA also helps brands and retailers tell their stories of impact and educate consumers about the power of their purchase. The Fair Trade Certified seal represents thousands of products, improving millions of lives, protecting land and waterways in 45 countries and counting. Purchases have sent $740 million to farmers and workers since 1998.
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About Kvarøy Arctic
Kvarøy Arctic is a third-generation Atlantic salmon farm on the Island of Kvarøy along Norway’s Arctic Circle. Led by CEO Alf-Gøran Knutsen, Production Manager Gjermund Olsen, and Operations Manager Håvard Olsen, the Kvarøy Arctic team is ushering in a new era of sustainability for salmon farming as a net producer of fish protein with a commitment to traceability and transparency through IBM blockchain technology.
Kvarøy Arctic is BAP, ASC, and Global G.A.P. certified and has the merroir of Norway’s cold, clear waters with delicate marine flavors and slight brininess. It is one of a small number of farm-raised fish certified by the American Heart Association’s® Heart-Check program. Kvarøy Arctic is actively expanding its U.S. retail presence. It is currently available through Pod Foods, at restaurants, for direct delivery on FultonFishMarket.com, and at retail through select retailers like Cherry Hill Market, Cox Farms Market, Acorn Acres, and Whole Foods Market U.S. locations.