Consumers willing to pay more for local food
More than half of respondents in a recent survey say it is important to eat food that is produced in Norway, and they are willing to pay the price. The share of the population who want to buy food produced in Norway hit an all-time low in 2009, but has had a steep increase in the past five years.
"This is part of a larger trend where the focus is on what is natural," says John Spilling, researcher at Ipsos MMI and head of the survey.
Local producers have also noticed the increase in demand. Sales have gone up to record-levels, and Egil Smith Meyer in Tingvollost ("Tingvoll cheese") says that he has double his production each year.
"I think this is a reaction to all the industrial food. There has been a demand for a larger selection and a different level of quality than what the traditional industry can offer," Meyer says.
Although Tingvollost is sold in stores across the country, most of the clients are local. "The closer you get to Tingvoll the higher the sales are," the owner explains.
Head of the union for local producers, "Hanen," has also noticed that revenues are increasing across the country. "It has especially gone up the past two-three years after the financial crisis was over," Bernt Bucher-Johannessen explains.