Agriculture in Norway Part II

The agricultural settlement affects the level of commodity prices and other regulations in the market. The farmers themselves participate in the market through the agricultural cooperation. The Ministry of Agriculture and Food is responsible for paying support to qualified applicants in accordance with adopted rules. Based on the Sales Act, the agricultural co-operation has been assigned to provide the most stable and balanced market for the most important agricultural commodities such as milk, meat, vegetables, fruits, berries, potatoes and eggs.

The work is carried out on behalf of the Sales Council, which after documented application can finance measures to reduce a surplus of goods. The money is taken from funds that are made up of a fee that the farmers are required to pay per kilo of goods they deliver. The size of the tax is regulated by the government on the recommendation of the Turnover Council. The lower the expected surplus of goods in the market, the lower the fee.

Agricultural policy

In 1975, the Storting granted agriculture the right to an income in line with a specific occupational group, the industrial workers. In 1993, the Storting again removed this provision. The objectives of the agricultural policy were given in Storting Bill No. 8 (1992-1993) “Agriculture in development”. It was adopted by the Storting, but not unanimously. It marked a time difference after a wide political consensus on agriculture in the Storting in the post-war period.

In the fall of 1999, the government presented Parliamentary Report No. 19 (1999-2000) “On Norwegian agriculture and food production”, which dealt with a new agricultural policy in a new millennium. It emphasizes competence, increased competition and less regulation of agriculture.

On December 2, 2011, the then -red-green government presented a new report to the Storting on agricultural and food policy, no. 9 (2011–2012), “Welcome to the table”. Here, emphasis is placed on a 20 per cent increase in Norwegian food production with a view to keeping pace with growth in the population until 2030. It is emphasized that food must be safe and that production must be sustainable and to the greatest extent possible based on Norwegian resources.. Emphasis is placed on maintaining a diverse use structure with agriculture across the country.

From being an industry subject to strict import protection and public sector support, agriculture must now increasingly live with greater national and international competition. The latter is regulated through multinational agreements such as the WTO Agreement and the EEA Agreement. Through the agricultural agreement, the state, in collaboration with the counterparty, the Norwegian Farmers’ Association (NB) and the Norwegian Farmers’ and Small Farmers’ Association (NBS), will lay down frameworks that allow farmers the same income development as other groups in society.

These negotiations are based on the main agricultural agreement of 1950. The negotiation result is an agreement on how much public support for agriculture should be for a defined 12-month period, what criteria the aid should be distributed and how high the prices can be calculated based on the wholesale price. the same period as a whole.

The individual farmer is responsible for achieving a good income development through efficiency improvements, cuts in costs and new business activities based on a larger range of farm resources (rural development). There is broad political consensus that public support is needed to secure agriculture throughout the country with the potential for income generation like others. But there is disagreement about the extent of the aid, the method of allocation, who should receive support and whether or not someone should receive or have it reduced.

An increasing proportion is distributed according to criteria that are not affected by the quantity produced. The aid amount is calculated on the basis of production-neutral concepts such as area, number of animals, estimated need for work or environmental conditions. For example, since the 1990s, support has been directed specifically towards organic farming and the protection of cultural landscapes and cultural heritage has become more important.

Efficiency and increased competition in the food industry and with suppliers of agricultural inputs are also part of the agricultural policy. For this reason, the dairy cooperative no longer has a special position as the sole buyer of raw milk from Norwegian milk producers. New dairies have started.

Meat producers face competition through increased imports of meat, especially from countries in Africa that the United Nations has defined as the least developed, so-called LDC countries. For example, meat from Botswana and Namibia is imported at very low tariffs. The state’s previous monopoly on the import and sale of grain through the state’s grain business has been abolished. The increased international competition follows from the World Trade Organization ‘s (WTO) efforts to promote a more free world trade in agricultural products through the reduction of tariffs and national agricultural subsidies and the removal of export subsidies.

Agriculture in Norway 2