Mapping the need for a network

In the Green Network project in the Norwegian district of Follo and Østfold county, the Royal Norwegian Society for Development on behalf of Innovation Norway has assessed the need for a large network within the green sector. Our recommendation was instead to form smaller networks directed towards particular markets and production types.

Project background

The commission that was announced by Innovation Norway was rooted in the enquiry: “Green Network - a possibility?” The Royal Norwegian Society for Development took the position that the commission was principally concerned with determining what was needed and exploring the possibilities for establishing a network project within the green sector with the purpose of increasing innovation and production.

In Østfold county and the Follo district, the number of vegetable producers has dropped by 44% and 53% respectively during the course of the past decade. Through our assessment we found that there is a good basis on which to reverse this decline and develop production, especially in the vegetable sector. There is demand for regionally-produced greens from both grocery, restaurant and catering, and wholesale branches.

About the project

Our assessment work placed an emphasis on identifying challenges and opportunities related to developing the sector through network projects and other projects.

The assessment work consisted amongst other things of going through document and register data, questionnaire surveys and in-depth interviews with growers, in-depth interviews with wholesalers, packers, processing factories, market, research and teaching bodies and public bodies.

In addition, the Royal Norwegian Society for Development decided to run a workshop involving key personnel when the assessment was almost completed.

Our contribution and role

  • Project leader
  • Examination of register data and other written information
  • Electronic questionnaire to all registered growers of greens and potatos in the region; quantitive survey
  • In-depth interviews with a number of actors in the commercial chain; qualitative survey
  • Workshop with key actors to ensure a unified understanding through the discussion of provisional findings and clarification of possible ways forward
  • Assessment of all results received


  • Insufficient common perception and prioritising of what is necessary for further development of the greens sector in Østfold county and Follo
  • Differing focus and interests in the different sections of the commercial chain
  • The initiation of a large network project in the region is not recommended
  • Few natural meeting points/established networks within green vegetables and potatos in the region
  • The focus should be on creating more meeting points/smaller networks/clusters around specific markets and special aspects of production in the region
  • Stronger clusters should be built up around the innovative forces found in the region, as this can in due course provide a basis for a larger innovation project within the greens sector
  • A basis for growth and innovation in the greens sector does exist in Østfold county and Follo

Contact us

Lill-Ann Gundersen, Senior advisor

Mobile: +47 911 36 581

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