It’s been more than a year since I found myself visiting small coffee farms in Mexico, trying to save the world from climate change, and then decided to start a small company that could offer better prices directly to the farmers, so they could avoid migration and/or poverty, and they could continue to manage and protect their endangered ecosystems. So I began to sell that Mexican coffee in Norway…
I am an Environmentalist that also became a salesperson. Its been both challenging and nice! But what I really discovered in my so far, short sales career, was something way more important than my marketing skills, and that is: Local businesses, especially owned and managed by women, are supporting sustainable food production in Norway!
Whether it is a flexitarian or a vegetarian Café, a vegan-catering firma, a food cooperative, or a health shop. The women and men behind them are very interested in supporting local farms’ suppliers, organic and ecological production, as well as fair trade and transparency when the food products have to be imported into Norway.
Which is very good for me and my coffee venture… But the big picture here is that the more this type of local businesses continue to grow and thrive, the more chances are that this market trend can influence a bigger part of the population. And that’s were the big environmental challenge is: Getting our grandmas, boyfriends and skeptical co-workers to try that veggie burger, eat that vegan chocolate bar, and to have more meat-free Fridays. So they can start to adopt a healthier way of consuming their foods. That in turn will demand and increase a more sustainable agricultural production.
I am not saying that only the market will bring the change that we need in food production. But a joint effort from conscious businesses and informed consumers can definitely create a very positive change in the next decades to come. And so far I am so pleased to see many local businesses work towards more sustainability in the food industry in Norway.
I have met a lot of great sustainable entrepreneurs thanks to my coffee experiment. Here’s a list of just a few local businesses in Norway that I have had the pleasure to discover, meet and in some cases even work with:
Hverdagsgodt in Stavanger
Vaquera Verde in Oslo
Funky Fresh Foods in Oslo
Coco Kanel in Stavanger
Bønnespiren in Stavanger
Xoco by Corina, chocolate
Salsitas, vegetables and salsas
Como Mexico, tortillas
Mountain Roast, coffee
Ya Basta!, coffee (This is a volunteer based organization)
Nord bakeri & brenneri, coffee and baked goods
Sunnkost in Søgne and Sunnkost stores all over Norway
Green seed, Oslo
Marked på torget, Stavanger
BUA food cooperative, Ås
Photo credits for the slide show:
- Xoco by Corina, 2. Vaquera Verde, 3. Coco Kanel, 4. Hverdagsgodt, 5. Bønnespiren, 6. Salsitas.