December 6, 2022

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NorgesGruppen, Sustainability |  Norgesgruppen with 1 million support for climate and environmental projects

NorgesGruppen, Sustainability | Norgesgruppen with 1 million support for climate and environmental projects

The Norwegian group behind Kiwi, Meny, Joker and Spar created the Sustainability Fund this fall Dealing.

Through this fund, the grocery giant has promised $100 million to support innovative entrepreneurs who will contribute to sustainable food production.

During the first round of applications, the fund received 68 applications. Eight projects received a total of 14.5 million NOK in support.

Signe Bunkholt Sæter, Director of Sustainability at Norgesgruppen, tells Nettavisen that the applicants are potential and existing partners. But also entrepreneurs, interest groups, and knowledge institutions participated in the implementation round.

– We’ve received project requests for everything from circular use of resources and improved animal welfare, to climate emissions in production and product development, as well as plant product development, says Sæter.

In the first application round, support was introduced to produce climate tomatoes made from food leftovers and juices made from vegetables that no one wants.

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1 Million Subsidies for Climate Friendly Tomatoes

At Reklima outside of Tonsberg, tomatoes are grown through a circular energy solution. This means that all waste is used and reused as an energy source.

The climate-friendly farming method now receives 4.6 million subsidies from the Norgesgruppen Sustainability Fund.

The goal is to take care of the resources in the cycle that are located in the places of nature. Today, we produce climate tomatoes and technology to grow food in a sustainable way. In addition, we develop fertilizers and agricultural products for both the consumer market, greenhouse farming and outdoor production, says Ivar Hajimoen of RICLIMA.

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By growing tomatoes through a circular solution, which means that all waste is reused as an energy source, carbon dioxide emissions are reduced, Hajimoen points out.

– How does this work in practice?

Food waste and livestock manure are used as a resource in biogas production in the biogas plant. In addition to fuel (methane), this production also produces green carbon dioxide and a residual biomass called biofertilizer. In practice, this means that food waste is used to produce both fuel and new vegetable crops, in this example tomatoes, Hajimoen explains.

The goal is that over time they will become an important contributor to the production of more environmentally friendly Norwegian vegetables.

The money from the fund will be used to upgrade the newly developed cultivation to a profitable level.

When the eco-friendly project is in full production, 50-60 tons per year are expected to be delivered.

Currently, Norwegian consumers can buy tomatoes in Norgesgruppen’s Meny and Jacobs stores in eastern Norway.

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Makes carrot juice that the grocery store doesn’t want

For us, there is no such thing as waste. Because even though many of the islands are sorted for different reasons, this is a valuable resource, says Jan-Eirik Gamlemsvik of Kysthagen AS for Nettavisen.

The family business is located in Veiholmen, a small fishing village by the sea on the island of Smøla in Møre og Romsdal. Here they get carrots from local farmers, and it is not the appearance that matters.

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No carrot is too weird or ugly to qualify as a succulent.

The result was three flavors of carrot juice, five types of lemon juice, two types of orange lemonade and three types of lemon juice.

Production began at the beginning of 2021, and Gamelemsvik says Corona challenges made the startup slower than expected.

But with 780,000 new kroner from Norgesgruppen’s sustainability fund, they are now expanding production. The money will be used to develop new products and increase production to reach a larger market.

– How did you come up with this idea?

The carrots we grow are top-grade ingredients that don’t meet the quality requirements of grocery stores. Then we thought it should be used in another way, says the entrepreneur.

The dream is to join the big grocery chains.

So far, the local market has had access to carrot juice from Alesund in the south to Smola in the north. In addition, the juice is sold to a selection of cafes, restaurants, and some local stores.