TINE caught our attention through its unmissable presence everywhere in Norway and of course for its importance for the Norwegian agricultural sector. We wanted to know who is TINE? And since we did some research, we want to share this information.
TINE is Norway’s largest producer, distributor and exporter of dairy products. It has due to strict market regulation carried out by the Norwegian government and through farmers lobbying groups a near monopoly position in the diary sector. TINE is organized as a cooperative owned by more than 15.000 Norwegian dairy farmers. Each farmer can actively participate in the decision making, has a number of social benefits and an equal share to the cooperative society’s capital and receives dividends based on their turnover. Together all farmers produce 1.4 billion litres of cow’s milk and 19 million litres of goat’s milk every year. 200 different products are produced and are marketed in Norway and abroad.
The farmers which we spoke to said that there would be substantially less agriculture in Norway without the presence of TINE. And this may be the case, especially in remote areas. Milk trucks ride around in every distant corner of the country to pick up milk from cows and goats. There is no minimum amount of milk the farmers need to deliver. TINE will come every two or three days to pick up milk and even deliver. Fact is that the majority of dairy farmers rely on TINE for selling their milk. And in many places around the country people are employed by TINE be it in transport activities, product production or distribution. Who would Norway look like without TINE? Would other concepts evolve and could even regional trading and direct marketing be successful?