Improving self-sufficiency: Coop launches CN Invest

Solna / SE. (coop) Coop Norrbotten, part of Coop Sweden, wants to change and improve the playing field for Norrbotten’s food sector and is therefore launching an investment company as its own independent subsidiary called CN Invest. «We want to increase opportunities for new entrepreneurs and already established ones to realise their projects in the food sector in Norrbotten,» explains Coop Norrbotten’s CEO Peter Fjällborg. «Since the beginning of the 20th century, Coop Norrbotten has worked to strengthen development in Norrbotten and supported local and regional food production. This initiative will be another step in our long-term vision of creating a Greener and Stronger Norrbotten for future generations.»

In a short time, Sweden’s and Norrbotten’s self-sufficiency in food has drastically deteriorated. More and more arable land is being left fallow, around 10 000 hectares in our county alone. Increasing imports and fewer local regional producers are leading to an increasingly unsustainable situation. The situation is more or less acute.

Becoming more self-sufficient is about offering a sustainable food chain, giving residents of the county an opportunity to choose good and healthy food without shifting the environmental impact beyond Sweden’s borders, and increasing the degree of utilisation of the natural resources we have in the region.

Twenty years ago, Norrbotten was 50 per cent self-sufficient. Since then, our degree of self-sufficiency has more than halved, in line with globalisation and increased imports. However, Peter Fjällborg, CEO of Coop Norrbotten, believes there are good opportunities to reverse this trend: «Through our investment company, we want to develop more regional food producers and increase the degree of self-sufficiency in the county. Through CN Invest, capital and expertise will help more people to invest and develop their business or, for that matter, start new business in the food sector.»

We start from Sweden’s Food Strategy and adapt it to Norrbotten, CN Invest will contribute to:

  • sustainable development in the entire county
  • to create growth and employment
  • that both conventional and organic production increases are in line with consumer demand
  • reduce the vulnerability of the food chain
  • increased self-sufficiency in food

Fjällborg: «Norrbotten has favourable conditions. We have a long history in food production with fine traditions and skilled professionals, a well-developed transport system and consumers who often prefer to choose local food rather than a cheaper alternative. We also need to address training needs where the continued expansion of the food industry depends on the ability to recruit and train staff at all levels.»

CN Invest can help increase companies’ risk-taking, cut costs, streamline investments and increase external collaborations. The long-term goal is to break the negative trend in the county and contribute to the region increasing its degree of self-sufficiency.

«We think it is important that Norrbotten’s consumers get a broader and more varied local product range. Through CN Invest, we can contribute to giving more consumers the opportunity to choose sustainable and locally produced food products,» concludes Peter Fjällborg.