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Food strike may end in liquidations

Some Norwegian businesses have been hit hard by the food strike. As many as 4,000 may be laid off because of it, and HSH fears the strike may lead to liquidations.

About 80 suppliers and food industry businesses have been hit hard by the strike, according to an overview compiled by the Federation of Norwegian Commercial and Service Enterprises (HSH).

Among these are Prior, Nordgården, Espeland, Mills, Kavli, Synnøve Finden, Delikat, Spis, Stabburet, Denja, Nordfjord Kjøtt, Nestlé and Henning Olsen Is.

«There are many small businesses and businesses which don’t have a strong financial backbone which have been hit hard by the strike,» said Vibeke H. Madsen, CEO at HSH. «We fear not only people being laid off temporarily, but also liquidations, if the strike continues. As a result competition is weakened and that Tine and other marked dominant agricultural co-operatives become even more dominating.»

Tine, Gilde and other large players are hit in a lesser degree by the strike because they have their own distribution.

Almost all of the private competitors in the agricultural co-operatives are hit hard because they are not able to deliver the goods from the storages which are affected by the strike.

«There are parts of Norwegian industry which are having a hard time, and many of the businesses will not manage a long lasting conflict,» Madsen said. «HSH is greatly concerned for the jobs in these businesses. This week, 200 have been informed that they will be laid off for the time being. Some have been given the word already, and more will get it next week.»

So far it appears that the numbers will reach about 4000, according to the information HSH has received.

HSH is also worried for the competition in the food industry.

«It is just in the last couple of years that this competition has increased, something which has lead to more local products and cheaper food for the consumers,» Madsen said. «We fear that the strike will lead to that the market dominating companies will become even more dominating.»

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