Large variation in value added in the Norwegian bioeconomy

Large variation in value added in the Norwegian bioeconomy

June 26, 2017

The different sectors of the Norwegian bioeconomy show a large variation in value added, between the sectors, over time, in the composition of value added, and not least between the bioeconomy of the Norwegian counties.

By Eirik Mikkelsen

In 2014, value added in nine key bioeconomy sectors amounted to NOK 95 billion, equivalent to 3.7% of the value added in Norway. This is a lower estimate of value added in the Norwegian bioeconomy, as many sectors that contain both bioeconomy and non- bioeconomy industries are not included.

The parts of the Norwegian bioeconomy with the greatest value added (in 2014) are "Food, beverage and tobacco industry", Agriculture, Aquaculture and Fisheries. All bioeconomy industries have experienced fluctuations in value added in recent decades, but the trend is that for Aquaculture and Fisheries growth has been large, Forestry and Agriculture have also grown, while for the "Textile, clothing and leather industry" in particular it has fallen.

There are major differences in how large labour costs, subsidies and operating profits are in relation to value added in the various industries. This is partly due to very special situations in individual industries, such as the payment scheme for fishing vessel crew and the national agreement on agricultural support, it is also largely due to how the industries and production there are organized.

The different bioeconomy sectors’ contribution to the value added in the Norwegian counties varies a lot, and so does the total value added from the bioeconomy industries in the counties.

All of this is from a new report from the Biosmart project (, funded by the Research Council of Norway and its Bionær program. The project establishes knowledge to support the development of a profitable and sustainable Norwegian bioeconomy, with particular attention to integration across the traditional bioeconomy sectors.

The report presents a statistical classification of bioeconomy based on the nutrition department used by Statistics Norway, which is also compatible with the system used by Eurostat.

Report: Value added in the Norwegian Bioeconomy (8/2017)

Contact persons: Heidi Rapp Nilsen, Norut’s project Manager for Biosmart and Eirik Mikkelsen, report author.

Read more 

Falk-Andersson et al. 2016: Mapping the bioeconomy: Biological resources and production in forestry, agriculture, fisheries and aquaculture across Norway.