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Sustainable Farm-Raised Salmon

Starting February 10, New Leaf Community Markets in Santa Cruz, Capitola, Half Moon Bay and Pleasanton will be offering freshwater, farm-raised king salmon in their seafood cases. “We take pride in sourcing the highest quality, most sustainable seafood available to us,” said Sarah Owens, marketing director, New Leaf Community Markets. “With the precipitous decline of West Coast salmon and increasing demand, we considered carrying farm-raised, but until we discovered Mt. Cook’s unique fish-farming practices we didn’t have an option that met our standards. Mt. Cook Alpine Salmon is green-rated by Monterey Bay Aquarium’s Seafood Watch and verified by FishWise as a Best Choice freshwater farm-raised king salmon. We are excited to offer this delicious and healthy delicacy to our customers who expressed overwhelming support for it,” she added.

“New Leaf is a leader in sustainable food,” said John Battendieri, founder of Santa Cruz Fish Company based in Moss Landing, California, and a pioneer in the organic food movement. “I’ve visited many salmon farms around the world and by far none compare to Mt. Cook Alpine Salmon. This delicious KING salmon is the best in the world which speaks to why the Monterey Bay Aquarium’s Seafood Watch rated it “Best Choice in Sustainability,” Battendieri exclaimed. Santa Cruz Fish Co. is the local importer of Mt. Cook Alpine Salmon, and Better Brands of Watsonville, California will distribute the salmon to New Leaf stores.

Mt. Cook Alpine Salmon live in cold freshwater currents that are some of the cleanest on the planet, nestled in the wild landscape of the Southern Alps of New Zealand. Every minute more than 2 million gallons of glacial water rushes through the farm, providing a pristine sanctuary where the salmon thrive. They are hand-fed a GMO-free diet that delivers a balance of fish oil, fish meal and proteins, with no chicken meal or by-products, growth hormones, antibiotics or vaccines. The result is a fit and lean salmon with less fat than other salmon, creating a taste that is moist and delicate. It is also an excellent source of Omega-3 fatty acids. These combined qualities make it so distinctive it was given a special name, Alpine Salmon.

Sustainability is embedded in Mt. Cook’s culture and in every practice from fish husbandry to the care for the environment in which they farm. Mt. Cook Alpine Salmon was the first aquaculture operation in Australia or New Zealand to receive Best Aquaculture Practice certification for sustainable farming from the nonprofit Global Aquaculture Alliance. Mt. Cook sources their salmon’s gene pool from the wild and they keep their fish at low stocking densities to give the salmon maximum freedom to swim. Their operation does not endanger any native fish populations. While their current operations already meet or exceed New Zealand’s tight industry and environmental regulations, their sustainability reaches beyond their salmon; they are constantly exploring new ways to redefine “best practice” in all aspects of their operation.

Before New Leaf decided to partner with Mt. Cook, it solicited input from customers to gauge interest. Everyone surveyed was in favor of the new option, with many stating that it as the most delicious salmon they had ever eaten. Those who asked about the company’s carbon footprint were gratified to learn that Mt. Cook Alpine Salmon is shipped by sea containers, which generates fewer CO2 emissions than shipping the same weight the same distance by truck. For more information about Mt. Cook Alpine Salmon visit www.alpinesalmon.co.nz