Everything we do is about food!
It may not be obvious through our name, but everything we do at Grønt Maskin has to do with the production of food, says sales manager Per Brun. He eagerly explains how the company is further investing in offering all required machines and equipment for potato production.
– We have long traditions and vast experience with equipment for growing potatoes in the company and we now look forward to making the everyday life of the potato growers even easier, points out sales representative Vidar Børsebakke, as he enthusiastically talks about equipment from light growing to seed treatment, irrigation, sprayers, sorting, storage and packaging.
– We have large, solid manufacturers and suppliers behind us, supplying high quality equipment to just about everything a potato farmer requires, from early spring until the potatoes are pre-packed and ready for delivery in the autumn, ensures Per Brun.
– Here in Norway, we have a shorter season, much narrower time windows, and different land zonings than farmers on the continent. Therefore, the machines and equipment we deliver must be solid and reliable, and well adapted to the Norwegian market. We must have a large and well-stocked spare parts warehouse, and the technicians in our workshop must really know their trade, he explains.
Not too far off.
– Harald Bjerkes Eftf., one of the companies which founded Grønt Maskin, worked extensively with everything that had to do with potatoes and potato handling, so we have plenty of people in the workshop with excellent knowledge about this, he adds.
– Sales and service of equipment for potatoes was important for Bjerknes Maskinforretning, which also became a part of Grønt Maskin in 2018, so there is no doubt that there is a lot of expertise regarding potato growing here in the company, agrees sales representative Vidar Børsebakke.
He is absolutely right about that! Among those with the most knowledge about potatoes and potato cultivation in Grønt Maskin is Vidar and Dag Fredrik Eftedal. Vidar himself was a potato farmer for many years, his crop went mainly to commercial kitchens and catering.
– I also did a lot of contract driving in connection to this, so I am not too far off when it comes to potatoes, he smiles.
Dag Fredrik is also «not too far off» when it comes to potatoes. He also has a long career as a potato farmer and can also boast an education from the potato school, which is a collaboration between the Norwegian Agricultural College, NLR (Norwegian Agricultural Advisory), Professional forum for potatoes and the College of Hedmark.
– The title I received from there was «can potatoes», admittedly with can being written cand., he laughs.
Grønt Maskin and its subsidiary RJ Maskiner in Sweden are amongst the Nordic region’s largest suppliers of machinery and equipment for agriculture. We are particularly extensive on row crops, where we supply machines and equipment for growing vegetables, onions, berries and now also potatoes.
Norway’s first alternative to Amandine potatoes
In addition to growing potatoes, Dag Fredrik helped start a packing plant that sold Norwegian small potatoes to supermarkets and restaurants. The potatoes were washed, polished and put in cardboard packaging before being sent out to customers.
– There were most likely others who had delivered this type of potato from their farm shops earlier, but we were the first in Norway to operate on a relatively large commercial scale. In 2013, we also entered the BAMA-system as the first Norwegian alternative to Amandine potatoes, he says.
– There is no doubt that Grønt Maskin have enthusiastic and motivated staff with first-class expertise regarding potatoes. Therefore, it was natural for us to pick up on this again and invest heavily in machines and equipment for this segment of Norwegian agriculture, he said further.
Haulm toppers is the best organic solution.
– We also supply haulm toppers, Vidar adds.
– Haulm on the plants must be removed to avoid infecting the potatoes. After the use of chemicals was banned, several other methods have come into play, amongst other things several “burn-off” products, but none of these are very effective. This is where our haulm toppers are a much better solution, also from an ecological perspective. The haulm toppers grind up the meter high potato haulm to almost nothing, and after it is dried in the field for two weeks, everything disappears into the ground, he explains.
Access to Professional competence
– Our history stretches a long way back in terms of machines and equipment, says CEO Rainer Hivand, and adds that he thinks the investment in becoming a fully-fledged supplier of equipment to professional growers, especially in row crops, is both right and important.
– It is also a strength for us to draw experience from our sister company, NORGO, who possess a very strong advisory environment regarding potato growing, and which also understands the requirements and needs for both seed potato producers and professional growers, he adds. Further he says that he is more than happy to refer to them with professional questions regarding everything from cultivation conditions to growth medium.
Collaboration is the key to success.
– Both Grønt Maskin, RJ Maskiner and Norgro are part of Felleskjøpet Vekst (Growth), says Jo Anders Moflag, who heads the division in Felleskjøpet. Felleskjøpet Vekst was established as a separate division at New Year, with the purpose to strengthen the focus on subsidiaries in Felleskjøpet.
The three companies are all suppliers to the same customer group, and it is therefore natural to build on the knowledge and competence that these companies have. Potatoes represent a large part of the row crop industry and we will strength our position amongst potato growers.
Grønt Maskin recently entered into an agreement with Felleskjøpet for service technicians in the after sales department to undertake reparation and service on Grønt Maskin products across large parts of the country. This means that we can offer service and repairs on harvester all over the country. Felleskjøpet has a good nationwide service network.