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Natalie Sidén, Norrbotten:

"Renewable energy boosts sustainable food Industry in northern Sweden"

Over 120 billion Euros will be invested in northern Sweden connected to the green transition, where green batteries and green steel will be produced. Now, businesses within food production are following in its trail and see northern Sweden as a unique opportunity for their next move in creating sustainable and cost-effective vegetables by collaborating with the green industries in the north.

"Thanks to our access to 100% renewable energy, at one of Europe's lowest energy prices, as well as using the huge amounts of surplus heat that the green industrial transition creates, there is a great potential for greenhouse growers to create for instance sustainable tomatoes or cucumber in greenhouses at a low cost," says Natalie Sidén, Inward Investment manager at Invest in Norrbotten. "As part of the Invest in Norrbotten team, a regional promotion agency, we are actively working to draw attention to our region among growers across Europe. We've already seen significant interest and engagement from the community."

Southern European growers
We have already seen that our conditions have received great interest from growers from southern Europe who are now seeking new places to expand their businesses," she continues. "We still have room for more growers to operate here. Sweden has low self-sufficiency for vegetables, around 25%, which leaves a large national market in Sweden for an establishment of large-scale greenhouse production or vertical farming," says Natalie.

Together with her colleague, Matz Engman, she's promoting Northern Sweden's unique business opportunities for growers and informing them not only to produce vegetables more cost-effectively but also to make them more sustainable.

"The world is facing new types of challenges where global pandemics, wars, and climate change create major uncertainties in our future food production and distribution. This requires us to produce more sustainable food where we preserve our natural resources instead of depleting them. Northern Sweden can be part of the solution," Matz Engman, Inward investment manager at Invest in Norrbotten.

Swedish market
Several companies have already made the decision to choose Northern Sweden for their future expansion of sustainable food. In Boden, a cucumber and tomato farm will be built, and where waste heat from a nearby green data center will be used for heating the facility. And in Gällivare, there are plans for building a large-scale tomatoes and shrimp farm by also using waste heat from industry connected to the green transition.

"But still, the import value to Sweden for only tomatoes was in 2022 as much as 144 million euros. Only from the Netherlands, we imported tomatoes at a value of 71 million euros, and from Spain and France, the value was up to 30 million euros from each country, so there are great possibilities for growers to gain market share by establishing in our region. We are very interested to be in contact with growers around Europe who are looking for new places to establish," Matz says.

Information about Invest in Norrbotten
Invest in Norrbotten is an investment promotion agency supporting inbound investments on behalf of the region's 14 municipalities. Invest in Norrbotten works closely with all key actors in the region, as well as Business Sweden (the official Swedish Trade and Investment organization), venture capital investors, and enterprises inside and outside of the region. The company, Invest in Norrbotten AB, is financed by the county council and the municipalities of Norrbotten. All our investor services are offered free of charge.

For more information:
Natalie Sidén, Inward Investment Manager
Invest in Norbotten
Kyrkogatan 13, 972 32 Luleå
Tel.: +46 (0) 72-566 56 60