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Local food: Norwegian

BAMA is working closely with Gartnerhallen and its highly skilled growers and producers, and we have been heavily involved in planned Norwegian production for many years. Together with them and our customers, we are working to boost the share of Norwegian produce on the market. The goal is to increase the volume and value of Norwegian fruits, berries, vegetables and potatoes.

Local food: Norwegian

New agreement with Gartnerhallen

Partnership extended for eight more years.

Together we make a strong team that is working to steadily increase the share of Norwegian produce, as well as promote innovation and the development of fantastic Norwegian products.

The agreement was signed in November 2023, and we could not be more pleased. Gartnerhallen has been BAMA’s most important partner for 25 years. Together, we have given Norwegian fruit and vegetables a real boost, with an increase of 87 per cent in volume since we began.

Now we aim to take new steps for further growth. Innovation, product development and a focus on technology are crucial aspects of this endeavour, and we are working hard to make things happen. Also on board is the innovation fund Grofondet, which annually provides financial support for new and promising projects in the area of Norwegian food production and food products.

2023 was challenging in many ways. We had to cope with droughts, downpours and floods. But when you work with perishable goods, you always have a backup plan. After many years in the sector, we are well equipped to adapt, and despite weather-related challenges (see separate articles below), we set several Norwegian sales records.

The year started well, with stock levels high. Our warehouses were bulging with high-quality, long-storage vegetables like carrots, swedes and onions. The 2022 growing season in Norway was extremely good and, we were happy to note, unusually long. This was something we benefited from far into 2023.

However, when the spring arrived, so did the drought. It lasted for weeks and caused problems for a number of crops. Berries in particular suffered greatly.

The summer came – and in August there were storms. The rain poured down in Rogaland, Trøndelag and the eastern part of Norway, making harvesting conditions extremely challenging for our producers. They worked hard and did everything they could, but produce like potatoes, lettuce and berries drowned where they stood. This severely curtailed access to produce in the short term, but also harmed the volume of long-storage products that were intended for sale through the winter of 2023/2024. For example, it became clear that we were going to lack 9,000 tonnes of potatoes.

But that did not stop us.

Situations like those experienced in 2023 showed what we are made of and what a wonderful organisation we have in the form of a robust supply chain and, not least, BAMA people in various locations who are prepared to roll up their sleeves and find solutions for both the short and long term. The conclusion is that we can successfully handle unforeseen events and know how to find smart and innovative solutions when necessary.

Volume/value growth for Norwegian produce: 

Record sales of Norwegian apples

Together with Gartnerhallen’s producers and our customers, we ensured that 19 per cent of the apples sold in the Norwegian market were Norwegian grown.

A colossal 6,200 tonnes of Norwegian apples flew out of the shops.

We have been working with Gartnerhallen for a long time to increase the consumption of Norwegian apples. The goal is to gradually capture market share from the most popular foreign varieties.

One of the steps we have taken has been to develop new varieties that thrive in the Norwegian climate and meet consumers’ varying demands with respect to taste and texture.

2023 was a fantastic year for Norwegian apples!

The growth in sales was due to efficient collaboration throughout the supply chain from apple grower to retail outlet. It was also a particularly good growing season for familiar varieties like Red Aroma, Discovery, Gravenstein and Summerred and new varieties like Eden and Fryd was ready for Norwegian consumeres. 

New cucumber record!

Winter production is flourishing, and the share of Norwegian-grown cucumbers is continuing to grow.

We can boast almost 14,000 tonnes sold – a staggering increase of 70 per cent since the start in 2017.

Thanks to a greater emphasis on production in heated greenhouses and significant investments in new lighting technology, we can offer Norwegian-grown cucumbers all year round.

Norwegian greenhouse technology is at the global forefront, and we have 24 highly-skilled producers of greenhouse-grown cucumbers dotted around Norway.

This story is an example of fantastic innovation work and a powerful desire to put even more Norwegian produce on supermarket shelves.

Grofondet – innovation and value creation

Each year, this fund supports a number of exciting projects.

The fund was created jointly by NorgesGruppen, Gartnerhallend and BAMA, and is worth a total of NOK 100 million. Project funding worth around NOK 10 million is awarded each year. Its main focus areas are:

  • Increased value creation from sustainable production
  • Increased consumption of Norwegian fruit, berries, vegetables and potatoes
  • Increased awareness of the supply chain’s role for society and the bioeconomy

This is one of the projects that received support in 2023:

Cultivation of the crispy lettuce variety “frillice” in greenhouses with alternative pest control

Keywords for this project include digital glue traps, drones deployed against pests and research into the use of beneficial insects during cultivation.

The project, which got underway in 2023, was helmed by the Gartnerhallen producer Våli Gård og Gartneri. The objective is to supply frillice lettuces using only alternative pest control methods. The startup Biologisk AS is also part of the team that aims to detect pests at an early stage in the growing process.

The project is exploring how new technology can be used for this purpose. This includes digital glue traps, surveillance of flying pests and the use of drones to capture pests. In addition, the project will also explore the use of beneficial insects (those that prey on the pests) in greenhouse production.

This will hopefully reduce the amount of pest damage to the greenhouse-grown frillice lettuces. Grofondet is supporting several similar projects and it will be intriguing to see the results they achieve.

Local food campaign: Welcome back!

Delighted to see you again!

Different people tell their stories. Stories about longing, good memories and a sense of yearning – warm feelings for something or someone – that most of us can relate to.

What we had missed were fantastic Norwegian seasonal products. Together with Gartnerhallen and Nyt Norge, we made sure that consumers realised how much they had missed them too!