Foie gras campaign in Norway

Publisert 03.12.2014

Norway's largest food chain, Norgesgruppen has announced a ban on the sale of foie gras in their supermarkets after dialogue with the Norwegian Animal Protection Alliance. Following this, many smaller food chains have also agreed to a ban on foie gras, as well as many restaurants.

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Norway's largest food chain, Norgesgruppen has announced a ban on the sale of foie gras in their supermarkets after dialogue with the Norwegian Animal Protection Alliance. Following this, many smaller food chains have also agreed to a ban on foie gras, as well as many restaurants.

The Norwegian food industry is dominated by four large companies, in addition to some smaller food chains. The largest food chain in Norway, Norgesgruppen, alone holds around 60 % of the market for everyday commodities.

In 2013, Norgesgruppen came to the conclusion that they would no longer sell foie gras. The decision applies to all the company’s food chains. This includes all the food chains that are known to sell high quality foods, and therefore has sold foie gras as part of their luxurious assortment of foods. In theory this means that access to foie gras has been highly reduced for Norwegian customers. 

In addition, some smaller food chains decided to stop their sales of foie gras, presumably inspired by Norgesgruppen.

The following food chains are not selling foie gras: Meny, Ultra, Centra, Jacobs, CC Mat and ICA Norge.

Norgesgruppen’s decision was concluded after long time contact and influence by the Norwegian Animal Protection Alliance. We also think some Danish food chains that decided to stop selling foie gras had an affect on Norgesgruppen, as their announcements were brought to attention by Norwegian media. 

The Norwegian Animal Protection Alliance hope the decisions in Norway might contribute to influencing food chains in other countries.

Additionally, some restaurant chains have taken foie gras off their menu – after cooperating with the Norwegian Animal Protection Alliance.

Large hotel chains ban foie gras from menus

The Norwegian Animal Protection Alliance have also been working with Norwegian hotel chains to encourage a foie gras free policy. Two of the largest hotel chains in Norway, Choice Hotels and First Hotels have banned the use of foie gras, after receiving scientific advice on foie gras production. In december 2014, a third chain, Thon Hotels, have decided to fase out foie gras use in 2015 after the Norwegian Animal Protection Alliance had a meeting with a group of the hotel chain's executives and gourmet chefs. Two other large hotel chains in Norway, Scandic and Radisson, have as of yet not taken a stand against foie gras use.

Working towards a foie gras free future

The Norwegian Animal Protection Alliance will keep working on abolishing the use of foie gras in Norway by:

  • sending out information to restaurants, and are drawing up a list of restaurants that agree to boycott foie gras.
  • informing large hotel chains about foie gras production
  • asking the government to approve a ban on imports of goose liver. Norwegian animal welfare law has authority to introduce this ban (Animal Welfare Act § 27). The current Norwegian government (2014) has declined to do anything about this. 

Force-feeding is banned in Norway, and producing foie gras is therefore illegal (Animal Welfare Act § 24 a). The demand for the product therefore has to be covered by importing it. This is the reason why the Norwegian Animal Protection Alliance are working on stopping the sale of foie gras through distributors and restaurants.

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