The following letter was sent to IntraFish by Joel Richardson, vice president of public relations for Canada-based seafood conglomerate Cooke Inc. in response to the article Cermaq, Mowi score well in new animal welfare ranking; Cooke scores poorly.

Cooke does not participate in NGO ranking schemes that lack credibility and sound evaluation processes. This is the case with the UK-based animal welfare group Compassion in World Farming (CIWF) and their new "salmon welfare score card ranking," which is based solely on a cursory review of company’s website content.

No credible seafood stewardship/sustainability organization assesses and ranks both publicly traded and privately owned companies based on a cursory review of their website content. But that’s what CIWF does in their scheme – which is why Cooke does not participate in their ranking.

All Cooke farmed and wild seafood divisions have achieved a wide array of credible certifications and recommendations, which include animal welfare assessments, and CIWF fails to consider them.

CIWF is not a certification body, nor have they visited all our salmon operations. Their self-proclaimed ‘salmon welfare score card ranking’ is far from sound in our opinion and we don’t share company information with organizations that take this approach.”

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