The food company Grønne Folk from Frosta in Trøndelag was among the 15 winners in the competition that was announced by the EU research project LIAISON, where Ruralis is a partner. As many as 220 companies, projects, and initiatives from Norway, Switzerland and 21 EU countries participated in the competition to showcase innovative and inspiring initiatives in agricultural and rural industries.
Grønne Folk produce delicious ready-made meals from vegetables that no one else uses. At least 30 percent of produce is discarded because of imperfections or undesirable size. This gave entrepreneur Ragnhild Eggen Viken the idea of peeling and cutting the vegetables, so that no one will see whether a carrot is damaged or is too big or too small. The question was how to prepare food that people liked out of these ingredients. Eggen founded Grønne Folk at Viken horticulture center in partnership with the catering company Hegstad and Blakstad in Trondheim.
An ex(h)emplary cooperative
Ireland Hemp Cooperative were also among the 15 winners. Farmers on the green island have joined forces in a cooperative to gather knowledge about growing hemp and to offer help with licensing and marketing. Hemp is a versatile plant used in medicine, animal feed, clothing and building materials for houses.
– It’s about letting the imagination run wild, just not from smoking hemp, says board member Séamus Ó Muilleanóir of Ireland Hemp Cooperative. Two thirds of the members of the cooperative are farmers, but the team also includes carpenters, doctors, architects and chemists.
In Oirschot in the Netherlands, Fladderfarm Mobiel successfully produce eggs in a novel way, using hen houses on wheels. The cart containing the hens is moved to a new place every other week, so its inhabitants always have access to large areas with natural feed. The practice supports sustainable land use, the hens live longer, and they produce more first-class eggs than hens at conventional farms.
The business idea is to sell eggs from the mobile chicken coup directly to consumers.
Here you can see the film clips where the entrepreneurs present their award-winning projects: