Organized sales of fish in the herring sector for more than 90 years.
Stick together! This is what some fishermen said to their fellow fishermen back in 1927. This slogan was used to get fishermen in mid Norway to organize themselves into what was then the very first fishermen’s organization for fish sales. Other organizations followed in 1928, making this the start of organized sales, and giving the fishermen a stronger position when having goods for sale on board, goods being easily spoiled.
This was by the end of the harsh 1920’s when herring prices were exceptionally low. It gave a hard lesson to fishermen of their real standing in business when a buyer was to be found – and to get a fair price.
The initiative in 1927 has many similarities to the very first international “coop initiative” where also ‘sticking together’ was the credo as ‘concord’ was to serve the members. The first modern coop was established by some weavers in England in 1844. The aim was, through a purchase organization, to secure goods of good quality to a fair price, - without falling into the hands of the merchants. The similarity to the fishermen’s conditions seems obvious; stay together to get a stronger position in the market!
The idea spread among fishermen in general, and many more followed this first initiative. The authorities also realized that this was a good idea seen from a society point of view, and thus the organizing quickly was approved through a separate act.
For more than 90 years this system has been functioning very well, serving in way other nations find most interesting. From all over the world, people are visiting Norway and our organization to study how it works. And – there is still an act to regulate the system of fish sales organizations in Norway.
The pelagic fish from Norwegian fishermen – and some foreign, is sold through our electronic auction. Annually we sell about 1,5 million MT of pelagic fish at a first-hand value of between 7 and 8 billion NOK.
Pelagic fish is an important part of the globe’s menu, and the contribution of pelagic species sold through Norges Sildesalgslag, results in 10 million meals daily! Together with other fish species, Norway represents an export value of close to 100 billion NOK.
- Pelagic fish = fish migrating freely in open seas