Norway is a special case compared to many other European countries. The amount of available agricultural land is low, the population density is also low, and the distances are large. From Oslo to the northern border is the same distance as Oslo to Rome. Self-sufficiency of animal-based food is high but low for vegetables it is low (46 %) and for fruits and berries extremely low (6 %). The consumption of fruits and vegetables also need to increase with more than 30% to reach the the recommended minimum of five servings of a day. The government has agreed on a commitment to innovation and growth in the vegetable and fruit sector, with the aim of increasing the Norwegian share of the market and meeting demand with as many Norwegian-produced goods as possible.
In the GreenRoad project, funded by the Norwegian Research Council and coordinated by NIBIO, inter-disciplinary research is being done to identify present status, opportunities, bottlenecks and possible transformation paths for fruit and vegetable production systems towards increased and long-term economic, social and environmental sustainability for the whole sector.
NORSUS is responsible for evaluating the current environmental, economic and social sustainability of horticultural production using carrot and apple production as cases. Options to improve sustainability for these production systems will be identified and the impacts of increased production will also be assessed. The goal is to ensure that the growth of Norwegian fruit and vegetable production will be as sustainable as possible.
The project involves a variety of disciplines (whereof biology, geography, economy and sociology) that will collaborate in different work packages. There is a strong involvement of business and national and international research partners. Partners and stakeholders will be involved throughout the project in focus groups and other forms of participatory research, and their feedback will contribute to develop innovation platforms and pathways towards GS35.