Norway agrees to EU sheep demands to save the organic salmon export

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Agriculture- and Food Minister Jon Georg Dale agrees to the EU demands on changing sheep farmers barn floors to save the export of organic salmon, leading to serious consequences for 600 sheep farmers.

Norwegian sheep farmers work with so called ‘cleaved barn floors’, which make it easier to remove dirt. Due to the new agreement, sheep farmers now have to change their barn floors to make way for the export of organic salmon. According to the EU, a solid barn floor, instead of a cleaved one, is better for the animals. Besides, it is according to the 2009 regulations of organic food production.

“There was no real opportunity to solve this on a political level with the EU, and we had to make a priority”, says Dale. He explains that export interests and access to the salmon market are important. This means however that 600 Norwegian sheep farmers need to change their cleaved barn floors into solid ones.

“Regrettable”, says Per Skorge, secretary general of the Norwegian Farmers’ Union, adding that now that the race is run, it is important to reduce costs as much as possible. “We expect that the authorities will contribute with helping to find solid solutions”, he says.

Source: NTB scanpix / Norway Today