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4: International trade

BAMA is a major player – not just in Norway, but in many local communities around the world. We have around 260 skilled producers spread across five continents who supply us with fruit, vegetables and berries.

4: International trade

Fast-paced innovation

The climate challenges came thick and fast in 2023, and the pace of innovation accelerated in response.

Working with fresh produce demands knowledge, experience and – not least – the ability to quickly find new and smart solutions. That is something we are very good at, and in 2023 we safeguarded our supplies through excellent teamwork across the supply chain.

In recent years, we have had even more practice in handling major challenges. The year started with a cold winter in Southern Europe and North Africa, which slowed crop growth. The supply of produce was lower than normal in the first quarter, with consequent pressure on prices. As the year progressed, growers around the world were forced to deal with a succession of extreme weather events, including heavy rain, floods and severe storms. War and geopolitical tensions also impacted the markets in which we operate.

All this forced us to come up with new ideas and ramp up our innovation even further. This is one of our most important priorities because we wish to source products from new and exciting places with the aim of both increasing consumption and helping to reduce climate change. In 2023, wind and weather affected a number of products and we were obliged to find solutions in both the short and longer term.

In the past few years, we have worked intensively to find producers of sweet peppers of the desired quality. In 2023, we substantially increased the volumes sourced from Greece. This is an exciting country of origin and it is good to be able to offer consumers an ever wider range of choices.

Another example is the Christmas clementine, a popular tradition for many Norwegians. In 2023, the traditional varieties, Clemenules and Orries, which we get from Spain and Morocco, were in short supply. Right at the end of the year, therefore, the newly developed variety Tango made its debut on supermarket shelves. Tango is botanically a mandarin, but has the qualities of a clementine. It is grown in Turkey and is a promising variety that we can see good opportunities for it in the future.

A third example is the arrival of pilot volumes of greenhouse-produced items, such as tomatoes from Albania. This is an exciting country of origin, with a stable climate and competitive products. It is well suited to this type of production and we are keen to see what will happen next.

In the longer term, we are working with numerous seed developers and producers to find the tomato varieties of tomorrow. In recent years, the Brown Rugose virus has impacted several sources and we must find resistant varieties to avoid this.

With respect to ethics and quality, BAMA’s requirements are unwavering. We demand the same standards of both existing and new suppliers. We are working constantly to create an understanding of our values, social and environmental requirements, quality, food safety and traceability, for example.

BAMA trades with producers worldwide. Ethical trade is a fundamental aspect of our business model and presence in the international market. We are heavily involved in the effort to boost sustainability and work continuously to promote good working conditions in the countries in which we do business, as well as transparency in the supply chain. Any nonconformance with our requirements is resolved through a dialogue-based and process-oriented approach. It is crucial to maintain a continuous focus on this in order to remain a leading player in the market for fruit, vegetables and fresh products.

Supplying fresh products demands knowledge, dedication and precision, as well as the ability to quickly adapt when faced with the unexpected. We are well prepared to do so, thanks to our capacity for rapid innovation, long-term relationships and highly skilled personnel in all parts of the supply chain.

Ever-popular melons

Seedless melons and muskmelon are so delicious that they simply fly off the supermarket shelves.

Severe hailstorms and heavy rain hit Spain in mid-June, forcing us to quickly come up with an alternative. As a result, we made the acquaintance of melon producers in Turkey, Italy and Greece, and consumers bought different melon varieties of the very best quality.

This is the result of effective innovation efforts and shows that out of crises new solutions fortunately emerge. Plans for further collaboration in 2024 were quickly laid. We are looking forward to it!

The cauliflower gets a makeover

Give a warm welcome to the caulilini!

Most of us are familiar with cauliflower – either as a whole head or in the form of “rice”. Cauliflower rice appeared in the Norwegian market a few years ago. In 2023, we worked on yet another version of the well-loved vegetable – caulilini. This product will go on sale in Norway in 2024.

Caulilini is a type of cauliflower with a dainty floret head and a longer, thinner stem than the traditional sort. Caulilini are somewhat similar to broccolini, a variety that has really taken hold in the Norwegian market.

Both vegetables are delicate and extremely easy to prepare when time is short. Originally, broccolini was only available as an import. However, it is now available from Norwegian growers during the summer season. This is also the goal for the caulilini, which we currently source from Spain.

Cherry Plum – a new favourite

Plums or cherries? Why choose when you can have both? 

The size of a grape and with a fresh taste that verges on the tangy, this little red titbit is a combination of the two. At present, we source the cherry plum from growers in South Africa. They are available in the shops in February and March. We started importing cherry plums a few years ago and 2023 was the year that sales really started to pick up.

We are confident that sales will double in the years ahead, and there are also plans to eventually trial production in Europe.

New factory opened in Finland🇫🇮

This brand-new factory supplies fresh and ready-to-eat products to Finnish consumers.

Trends in the Nordic countries are fairly similar. Consumers want healthier and more sustainable alternatives that are produced locally, and they want ready-to eat products. The new factory will certainly meet the Finnish market’s needs.

It has been built with sustainability in mind, with the aim of reducing food waste and limiting the use of plastic packaging. We are working to achieve synergies and share best practices across national borders in the areas of innovation, sustainability and cost management.


BAMA’s international business

This includes wholly and partly owned companies in Poland, the Netherlands, Sweden and Finland. Examples include Nature’s Pride, Xpol, Artic Spòlkâ and BAMA Nordic.

Nature’s Pride, which was established in 2001, is located in the Netherlands. The company is one of the leading suppliers of exotic fruits and berries, and the leading avocado supplier in the European market. It has been ripening mangos and avocados since 2005.

Xpol B.V. is located in the Netherlands and delivers fresh flowers, mainly from Africa. However, purchases from Europe have become increasingly important, as consumers demand more locally grown produce. Artic Spòlkâ is located in Poland and focuses primarily on supplying mushrooms, blueberries and apples, in addition to sales in the Polish market. The company was established in 1998 and joined BAMA’s international corporate structure in 2005.

BAMA Nordic comprises BAMA Foods AB, BAMA Fresh Cuts AB and BAMA Fresh Cuts OY, among others. BAMA Foods sells ready-to-eat convenience products that are sold in both convenience stores and other retail outlets. BAMA Fresh Cuts in Sweden and Finland process fresh vegetables. They produce primarily for the domestic market but also sell to customers in Denmark and the Baltic countries.