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Efforts for sustainable development

Sustainability is the buzzword "everyone" talks about. Salsus is the company that really wants to deliver on that.

Company: Salsus

- Theoretically, we can recycle 100 percent of our raw materials. It requires huge investments, but we have a plan for how to make it happen - and we have to make it happen, says general manager of Salsus in Kongsvinger, Bela Szabo, and explains:

- We have a business plan that shows how we can use everything that comes in. We are working on a project regarding how we can utilize the residual product; we can burn bones from power production and create our own energy, we can get minerals from the products, and from the ashes we can think organic fertilizer. We can create further value creation from what comes from our production, and this is something we will see more of in the years to come, he says.

The world's best water in the Kongsvinger region?

It is less than two years since Salsus established its production lines of power, sauce and broth at the SIVA industrial area in Kongsvinger, but many have already opened their eyes to the innovative and environmentally conscious "power center" in the region.

- Here there are no secrets, just hard and quality-oriented work. What makes Salsus unique is the actual production process from A to Z to connect everything, as well as our focus on the total utilization of the raw materials, says Bela Szabo, and reveals that there is great international interest in the production.

Salsus also attributes part of the credit for the good taste and pure power to the water in the Kongsvinger region, and has found an economically favorable niche in choosing second-class products that taste as good as what you find in a grocery store.

- In this context, it is also relevant to point out that we mainly use Norwegian vegetables that are seasonal in all our production. The climate here ensures good quality of the raw materials, and therefore we always prefer short-distance vegetables and herbs from Eastern Norway, he adds.

New study in sustainability economics

In recent years, sustainability has been put on the agenda by both the public sector, the business community and educational institutions. Last autumn, the University College Center in Kongsvinger officially launched that their latest study is sustainability economics, which was developed as a result of a collaboration with the business community where it was revealed what competence was lacking in the region.

- The industrial cluster 7sterke has been a driving force and a strong contributor to the study, which I believe is absolutely perfect for the role our region takes. Much of the curriculum is strongly related to the current needs of the business community, and the graduating students will be very attractive in the labor market, says Erik Platek, chairman of the board of 7sterke and CEO of Schütz Nordic.

7sterke is now establishing the cluster project GreenHeart Industry, which through the development of innovative and sustainable solutions will take a national position in green industrial development.

- We want to contribute to the Kongsvinger region becoming the country's first climate-positive industrial region, which is also economically sustainable. Salsus is a prime example of a company that is important for this investment through their work with circular economy, says Platek, and emphasizes that he believes the region takes the role of "Norway's green heart".

- We are already a leader with one of Norway's first networks within sustainability, and work a lot with competence development and a general understanding of what sustainability can mean for the individual company. I think we are well underway, and there are many who work closely and well together to succeed, the 7sterke leader adds.

Time-consuming establishment

It took five years from Salsus, the municipality and the policy instruments found each other until the establishment in Kongsvinger took place. The work of going from being a small import company to a large production company with about 20 employees was demanding in several ways.

- It was absolutely necessary to get the economy in place, and it was important to have good contacts and networks in this work. In total, we have invested about NOK 200 million in buildings, adaptations and machines, but at the same time we envisage a doubling of turnover next year, Szabo explains.

Klosser Innovation and Kongsvinger municipality showed great interest in getting Salsus to the region, which Szabo appreciates.

- Both the help in the moving process and the reception has been very good, says Bela Szabo.

SIVA, Innovation Norway and DnB were other players who also contributed to getting Salsus to Kongsvinger.

Need more expertise

In a company of this size, with such a large degree of automated production, competence is an important key word. Szabo believes that he brought with him the founder of the first factory of this type, which is actually where the inspiration for the Salsus initiative comes from, as well as employees from a closed BAMA factory, has been crucial for the good start to the corporate adventure.

- The supply of the right competence is a little more limited here, and with the years and expected expansion, there will be a need for employees with experience from food production, good work ethic and knowledge of tomorrow's challenges, the general manager explains.

100.000 liters of hollandaise to England

Today, Salsus exports to nine countries, and sells 100.000 liters of hollandaise sauce to England. In the future, the general manager also sees that the halal market can give the company a better foothold in Asia.

- We have great market value abroad, and will continue to build on it.

- All in all, the future of Salsus looks very positive. We thrive here, and look forward to growing further in the same place, says Szabo.