Meet the Member: NAC Norway Date : 2016-03-07 Views : 4498
Norwegian Agricultural Cooperatives (NAC), or Norsk Landbrukssamvirke in Norwegian, is the apex cooperative organization that supports and promotes cooperative agricultural businesses in Norway. NAC is the umbrella organization to sixteen cooperative organizations, all but one of which are one hundred percent owned and managed by their 50,000 members.
NAC is governed by a board of elected leaders from these sixteen cooperatives as well as leaders from the Norwegian Farmers’ Union and the Norwegian Farmers’ and Smallholders’ Union. Together, the board and leaders employed by NAC make decisions that heavily impact the agricultural economy in Norway. The member cooperatives are involved in a wide range of commercial activities such as the processing and sale of raw materials from agriculture and forestry, insurance and financial services, consulting, livestock breeding, and purchasing equipment.
The sixteen member cooperatives of NAC represent the following five categories: marketing, purchasing, breeding, finance, and consulting. The most well known of the agricultural cooperatives are TINE, Nortura, and Felleskjøpet.
• TINE is Norway’s largest producer, distributor, and exporter of dairy products and is cooperatively owned and managed by approximately 14,000 member dairy farmers. Each member is a shareholder in the cooperative, to which they deliver 1.4 billion liters of cow's milk and about 19 million liters of goat’s milk every year. The milk is processed into more than 200 different products, which are sold under the TINE trademark. TINE is Norway's largest food manufacturer, with 5,505 employees and an annual turnover of EUR 2.6 billion.
• Nortura, organized and owned by approximately 18,800 farmers, is responsible for producing and selling the members’ slaughtered animals, eggs, live animals, and wool. The company has an annual turnover of approximately EUR 2.5 billion and employs approximately 5,500 workers at industrial operations in 30 municipalities in 13 counties.
• Felleskjøpet (the Norwegian Agricultural Purchasing and Marketing Cooperation, abbreviated as FK) is composed of two regional cooperatives that purchase and produce production equipment for agriculture such as fertilizer, feed concentrates, machines, etc. FK also processes and sells grain and grain products for both humans and animals. FK is owned by about 45,000 farmers and employs approximately 2000 people. FK’s annual turnover is approximately EUR 1.5 billion.
The CEO of NAC is Ola Hedstein, and the Deputy Director is Eugen Tømte. Together, they manage fifteen employees at their headquarters in Oslo. Their primary responsibilities are food safety, research, and innovation, industrial policy, education and training of cooperative leaders, and communication. The food research prepares food safety policies that are implemented as a result of the research. The industrial policy team administers operating credit for farmers and monitors and reports on problems related to industrial policy. NAC communicates with its members, affiliated organizations, and press through this head office as well.
NAC offers training events and opportunities for its members, leaders, and employees with the goal of building the strongest possible agricultural cooperative. Course content in the past has included international communication and understanding, agricultural policy and framework, cooperative principles, board operation, and committee operation.
NAC has consistently demonstrated an outstanding effort to advocate for Norwegian farmers and represent Norway on the international stage through a variety of member organizations such as ICAO and continues to be a major player in the world of agricultural cooperatives.