Date: Friday June 28th
Duration: Full day
Organizers/contact persons: Brit Logstein
Title: Contract Farming and Vertical Integration. The value chain of vegetables and potatoes in Norway.
The peninsula of Frosta, in the Trondheim fjord, is referred to as the `vegetable garden of Trondheim` and is the perfect spot to get insight into contract farming and vertical integration of the value chain of vegetables and potatoes in Norway. Frosta is highly suitable for potato and vegetable production due to its soil and climate; 80 % of the area of this municipality is below 150 meters above sea level, and agriculture is a strong part of the common identity of its inhabitants.
In Norway, agricultural cooperatives and authorities regulate the market for agricultural products, and certain cooperatives play a role as a market regulator. However, this is not the case of all production. In 2000, Gartnerhallen, the farmers’ cooperative for fruit, vegetable and potato production lost the right to act as the government-supported market regulator in the vegetable and potato sector, and farmers went from guaranteed delivery to contract farming overnight. Simultaneously, the major retail chains in Norway have gained more power in the Norwegian food trade through vertical integration of wholesalers, retail establishments and distributors. The position of farmer organizations in the Norwegian food market has weakened through contract farming and increasing vertical integration of the food value chain.
The aim of this excursion is to get more insight into how the agricultural sector in this municipality operates, and what kind of possibilities and challenges individuals are facing. We go by bus approximately 74 km (Trondheim-Frosta). First, we visit the farmer Tor Henrik Viken. He and his wife produce different kinds of vegetables. Next, we will go to Producer Packing Trøndelag AS. It was established in 2007 and aims to gather all packing in a large and central packing center in the county of Trøndelag. Farmers are co-owners, and the packing center receives both potatoes and vegetables. After this presentation, we will eat lunch at a nice restaurant on Tautra (island in the fjord). Here, you have the option to buy souvenirs, view the beautiful landscape, and if time, visit a modern convent and possibly see some rare birds! Lastly, we will visit local entrepreneurs – ‘Grønne folk’- who make and sell food. The ingredients are ‘ugly vegetables’, produced by local farmers.
08.30: Departure hotel. Welcome and introduction by Brit Logstein, Ruralis
10.00: Visit Tor Henrik Viken- vegetable farmer
11.00: Visit Producer Packing Trøndelag AS and manager Thor-Eirik Albrektsen
12.00: Lunch at Klostergården and shopping
13:00: Exploring the island of Tautra – possibly see some rare birds! Visit convent
13:40: Visit ‘Grønne folk’ and get a bite to eat
15:00: Arrival airport
15:45: Arrival hotel
Wear walking shoes and clothes according to the weather.