Norway needs thriving communities that can preserve and develop their resource base to prevent population decline. Development of local industry within food and tourism contributes to qualities that build up and maintain the local community.

Local food and local identity

Local production and processing of food strengthens identity and creates a greater diversity local value. Local food production is an important contribution to Norwegian self-sufficiency.

Norges Vel takes the initiative to develop supply chains for new products. Some examples are local beer, rapeseed oil, and barley production from farmers in Østfold. The farmers get increased profits due to owning a larger share of the supply chain, in addition to this the consumers have a greater range of products to choose from when shopping.

Effective cooperation between food producers is often a prerequisite for becoming a strong and professional business in a demanding market. We strive to find and establish the optimal organisational structure for this purpose. 

As the leader for the Oslofjord Culinary Heritage network (Regional matkultur Oslofjord), we contribute by introducing restaurants to local food producers, this creates a larger turnover of local food and a more excitement in selections available to the customer.

Since Norges Vel introduced Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) to Norway in 1996, there has been a continuous interest from people who want to produce and harvest their own food ever since. CSA is a long term cooperation between the consumer and the farmer where responsibility, risk, and harvest are shared in one year deals at a time. Øverland CSA in Akershus, which was the first in Norway, is still the largest and has long waiting lists of people eager to participate.

Adventure tourism - The good story

Tourism is one of the world's fastest growing industries, it provides employment and local development. The demand for nature based experiences and activities of a regional taste is increasing. Tourists focused on adventures tend to stay in one place for longer and use more money than other tourists. Norges Vel is working with comprehensive projects that combine nature, food, and experience into one product.

Norges Vel is dedicated to preserving Norwegian crafts. They are effective at providing value, employment and culture for the local community. Economuseums provide craftsmanship with work, in addition to breathing life back into crafts that might otherwise be lost. The companies are transformed into an exhibition where visitors can see the craftmanship in action, become familiar with the history and buy the products. Many companies have found economuseums very effective and increased their revenue.

It being a coastal nation, a large portion of Norway's population have depended on the sea for their livelihoods throughout history. This has led to a glut of cultural heritage sites along the coast. Many of the traditional boat houses that are located along the coast fall into disrepair. Norges Vel aims to preserve these houses whilst creating new businesses around them with the project «New businesses in old coastal buildings» without the buildings losing their unique feel. Overnight spots, cultural centers and places to dine have been established. We also founded the association "The boathouse association: Boathouse news" for owners of boathouses in coastal areas.

Business development through cooperation

Many of the experiences offered to tourists would not have come about without cooperation between local ventures. Through projects like the Fjord Pilgrim Route Norges Vel gets an overview of local ventures that can be be included.

We have mapped out where boathouses and other abandoned buildings can get new life as lodging for tourists and pilgrims. We contribute to the organisation of local businesses offering complete experiences with nature, culture, dining and lodging, all the way from Egersund to Trondheim.