Food 2023 – Very Successful

Presentation at Food 2023. Photo: Andrea Gjestvang
Food 2023 gathered 200 participants in Oslo 13 March. Photo: Andrea Gjestvang
By Reidar Molthe

22 March 2023 14:42

Food 2023 – Very Successful

The 200 participants who attended the NHH Food conference 13 March participated in a seminar full of professionalism and competence. NHH Food is now, arguably, the most important conference of the year - on the grocery market.

It is difficult to agree on what was the highlight of the day. But the macro picture drawn by the popular NHH rector, Øystein Thøgersen, probably comes up high for many.

Professor Thøgersen is not only a principal and an economist, he is funny and witty too. Not a bad combination.

Optimistic about the future

Former socialist leader and FN delegate, Erik Solheim, is known for his rhetorical skills and finished the conference by drawing a very positive picture of global developments.

Despite wars, crises and challenges, the future looks quite good, and very good compared to previous times, Solheim concludes.

He in no way appeared as a doomsday socialist, more as an optimistic and modern political scientist.

Important meeting place

Professor frode Steen speaking at the food conference.
Professor Frode Steen is project manager for the Food research project and the annual conference. Photo: Andrea Gjestvang

“I am happy with our event, absolutely. We had 200 participants, and we had the relevant participants. FOOD has become an important meeting place for the industry. A place where you can share and gain new insights about the value chain,” declares professor and project manager for NHH Food, Frode Steen.

"What do you think is the most important subject that was presented at the seminar?"

“We learned something about prices, customer responses and how costs across the value chain have developed. We also gained new knowledge about how the Norwegian market looks compared to our neighbouring countries. This taught us, among other things, that there are similarities rather than differences that stand out.”

Technology & AI

“Were there any of the academic posts that surprised you?”

“There was a lot of exciting things that emerged during the sustainability session, not least that both increased technology, but also reduced use of technology, can help the value chain.

“On the one hand, we saw how AI and robots can increase yields and sustainability in agriculture. At the same time we saw how simpler and less extensive farming can increase sustainability and produce premium products that can provide better payment to the farmer.”

“If you were to single out one post from the day - who would it be? And the reason?”

“I think Gudbrand Qvale gave us something to think about. It's exciting to meet a farmer with a professional background in economics who thinks alternatively about how Norwegian agriculture can develop and profit. Not least by producing more premium/niche products and leave volume production to those who have the natural prerequisites for this,” concludes professor Steen.

“Food 2023 was incredibly good”

“Food 2023 was incredibly good. Plenty of drive in the program and I met many important grocery people. I find it sad that the Rema tops shone with their absence. However, I met the new CEO of Coop Norway, Philipp Engedal, a sympathetic type,” emphasizes former BI professor Odd Gisholt, now independent consultant and keen public orator on retail and groceries.

“I guess not so much really new was brought to the table, but I liked the Scandinavia comparison. There are differences in Scandinavia and Norway does it well in many ways” he adds, and concludes:

“ASKO's presentation was long, but exceptionally good. ASKO is the most important hub in the entire NorgesGruppen. Erik Solheim's ending was decent enough and most entertaining. However his deep admiration for China was a bit over the top,” concludes Odd Gisholt.

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