Local food maker Ole Martin Kildahl’s turnover has quadrupled, partly thanks to advice from Nofima’s master sausage maker Tom Johannessen. Photo: Wenche Aale Hægermark © Nofima

Project Year 2018

Driver behind local food

 Innovation, consumer and sensory sciences  

Bakken Øvre farm in Løten is home to the Kildahl family. Both farm and family have been a hub for developing local food in Norway.

Another important player is Stine Alm Hersleth, head of Nofima’s competence network for local food in eastern Norway, which helps people who want to start processing farm basedraw materials commercially.
“We offer courses and guidance to help food producers learn the relevant skills and technology,” says Stine Alm Hersleth.
Products include sausages and other meat products, baked goods, milk and cheeses, processed vegetables, fruits and berries. The portfolio of courses is wide. “The local food programme is a national network consisting of five regions, with a contact person for everyone – no matter where in Norway they live,” explains Alm Hersleth.

Broad knowledge

Her team consists of a sausage maker, a baker, a cook, a jams and jelly expert, a food safety expert, a sensory panel and a whole host of food researchers, who together possess all the knowledge food producers might need.
Just ask Ole Martin Kildahl, the initiator behind Hamar farmer’s market. In the 15 years it has been running, turnover has risen from NOK 5.5 million to NOK 72 million. “There are far more local food producers in Norway now. Most have small farms, an entrepreneurial spirit and are complete foodies,” says Kildahl. A total of 12 people currently work in the company, but more are about to join.

From NOK 3.8m to NOK 15m

“My best advice for meat producers is to start by taking a course with Nofima’s master sausage maker. Tom Johannessen can teach you everything you need to know to get started and can also help established producers evolve,” says the local food producer.
“If we didn’t process the raw materials ourselves, we would have had an annual turnover of NOK 3.8m, as opposed to this year’s NOK 15m. This ensures solid value creation and the chance to give more people a job,” concludes Ole Martin Kildahl.

Innovation Norway, the Ministry of Agriculture and Food

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