The aim of the “Arctic food” project has been to assess the potential for increased production and value creation of food produced in the Arctic areas of Norway. The overall goal is to contribute to economic development in Arctic communities.
Norwegian Ministry of Foreign Affairs|The Nordic Council of Ministers
Nibio, Norway. Matis, Iceland. The University of Saskatchewan, Canada.
Climate change can present a number of challenges in relation to food production in the Arctic. This is especially the case in agriculture, where winter damage, new and more diseases, and more precipitation that can pose challenges during harvest times. This will require new operating systems and new technological solutions.
However, climate change may also mean that countries in the North must contribute to increased global food production to a greater extent. Production in the North is important and there seems to be an increasing demand for food that is produced in the Arctic.
Consumer surveys among Norwegian and European consumers show that Arctic food is associated with positive characteristics such as being fresh and tasty, and that many of the characteristics associated with Arctic food are factors that are common in modern international food trends, such as health, natural, genuine and traditional.
One marketing opportunity that can be investigated further is to place emphasis on sensory characteristics in Arctic food, such as smell, taste and texture.
Research shows that some vegetables and berries produced in the North have a better appearance, better nutritional content, are often sweeter in taste, and also have a more crisp and juicier consistency compared to vegetables and berries grown in warmer climates. Potentially, this could be exploited in marketing work involving vegetables, berries and other products with unique characteristics from the Arctic.
The project is incorporated into the Arctic Council’s project portfolio and endorsed by the Sustainable Development Working Group (SDWG).
Other participants include Canada, Denmark, Greenland, Iceland, Norway and Russia. The Norwegian participation was funded by the Norwegian Ministry of Foreign Affairs, and has been taken place as a collaboration of Nofima and Nibio.
Three reports have been developed in the project, which can be downloaded from the link below.
The Arctic as a Food Producing Region. Phase 1: Current status in five Arctic countries
This report is the output from the first phase of the project, providing a description of the main food production and examples of conditions for food production in the Arctic areas of the countries involved. This will form the basis for further analysis of opportunities, driving forces and barriers for further development of arctic food production, in the next phase of the project.
Status, verdi og utfordringer for matproduksjon i Arktisk Norge – Rapport 2 «Arktis som en matproduserende region» (Norwegian language)
Final report «The Arctic as a Food Producing region».
Follow-up project: Blue Bioeconomy in the Arctic region
A follow-up project of Arctic as a food producing region is the “Blue Bioeconomy in the Arctic region” project, where the overarching aim is to promote increased use and value of marine resources in the Arctic.
The project considers status, opportunities and possible challenges for the development of the Blue Bioeconomy in the Arctic region, with a focus on balancing economic growth, social inclusion and environmental protection.
Read the report: Blue bioeconomy in the Arctic region