Industry leaders to discuss new trading legislation Navn

Bilde av grønnsaker og Christine Tacon
FOOD 2020: Christine Tacon is the UK’s first Groceries Code Adjudicator, and oversees the implementation of the Groceries Supply Code of Practice. At the conference, she will explain how the arrangement has worked in the UK. Photo: Pexels v. Magda Ehlers /
NHH By Ingrid Aarseth Johannessen

10 March 2020 15:49

Industry leaders to discuss new trading legislation Navn

On 11 March, the grocery industry will be attending a conference in Oslo on the topic ‘death of the high street and the industry shift’. ‘There is no shortage of excitement in the grocery industry,’ says head of FOOD Frode Steen.

About FOOD

  • FOOD is a five-year collaboration between NHH and the food retailer NorgesGruppen, running from 2016 to 2021.
  • The goal is to promote research and new knowledge about the grocery markets, especially topics relating to market structure, competition and productivity.
  • FOOD brings together several national and international researchers in the grocery market, funds research in the form of reports and book projects, and organises the industry conference FOOD.
  • The book Mot bedre vitende i norsk matsektor will be launched at the FOOD conference. It is edited by NHH Professor Frode Steen and Senior Adviser Ivar Pettersen at NIBIO.
  • In the project period, FOOD is financing an endowed professorship, a postdoctoral position and an internationally recruited adjunct professor position.


FOOD is an annual conference organised by NHH in cooperation with the grocery industry. The conference brings together almost 300 participants and is an arena where the industry, authorities and researchers are presented with and discuss new knowledge about how the grocery market works. 

‘There is no shortage of excitement in the grocery industry. It is characterised by large players at several levels, what appears to be a high density of supermarkets, and, according to many, too little competition. At the same time, online shopping is growing, competition is taking place in more channels – and, not least, there are new challengers in the industry. The industry needs to understand these dynamics,’ says NHH Professor Frode Steen, who chairs the conference and the FOOD research collaboration.

The topic of this year’s conference is death of the high street and the industry shift. Traditional shops – as well as shopping centres – are at risk. There are nonetheless chains that are growing – not only in size – but also in breadth. Will we be picking up groceries from Nille and Clas Ohlson in the future, or from the supermarkets as we know them?

Read the program 

The following will be attending the conference, among others:

  • Lars Sørgard, Director General of the Norwegian Competition Authority
  • Ingvill Størksen, Director of Virke Dagligvare (grocery section of the Enterprise Federation of Norway)
  • Helge Hasselgård, CEO of the Grocery Suppliers of Norway (DLF)
  • Stine Trygg-Hauger, CEO of Clas Ohlson
  • Erling Hjelmeng, Professor at the University of Oslo
  • Tor Wallin Andreassen, Professor at NHH
  • Magne Supphellen, Professor at NHH
Frode Steen og Lars Sørgard
Head of FOOD Frode Steen (left), and Lars Sørgard, Director General of the Norwegian Competition Authority. Photo: Siv Dolmen

Aims to reduce level of conflict

The Government is working on a new act on good trading practices, to be introduced in the course of the year. The aim is to reduce the level of conflict in the industry, and the legislation will be enforced by a new supervisory body for the grocery trade.

The UK is the only country to have tested a similar arrangement, and FOOD has invited Christine Tacon, the UK’s Groceries Code Adjudicator, to explain how the arrangement has worked. 

‘The negotiation climate in the Norwegian grocery trade is tough, and the new legislation is something many have called for. At the conference, we will discuss what changes the industry can expect when the new legislation is introduced,’ says Steen.

The conference will also include presentations of new research from the FOOD project, especially from the new book Mot bedre vitende i norsk matsektor (‘Bad faith in the Norwegian food sector’ (Cappelen Damm Akademisk, 11 March). It addresses topics such as market concentration, shop density, productivity developments, price differences between countries, and brand issues.