A focus on biodiversity
When establishing a new company you have a golden opportunity to define why the company exist, beyond creating awesome products, making profit and creating a great place to work.
To me, that extra purpose is to play a positive role in contributing to biodiversity. In specific; stimulate use and breeding of the Norwegian Fjord Horse.
Reaching out to an old friend
Going 5-6 decades back, the classical farm in the Nordics consisted of a large variety of livestock; a hen, a horse, a cow, a goat and a sheep or two.
But the agriculture sector has changed enormously and has gradually transformed into professional one-species farms. Volume won over diversity. And it made perfect sense doing it.
This industrialization and professionalization was a huge blow for the Fjording. When the tractor came along, suddenly our most valuable and trustworthy companion, since long before the Viking era, became outdated.
It´s now only 5000 Fjord Horses left in Norway and it's endangered on a national level. Birth rates are too low and the fear of inbreeding is real. The trend has been negative for decades and we struggle to fulfill international requirements as country of origin.
The main challenge is that there is not enough money involved in keeping a horse, its actually a rather expensive hobby for most. We love this beautiful and goodhearted animal, but too few Norwegians can prioritize to keep one. I think that is sad. And worrying.
As mentioned in my blog post about choosing Fjording as brand name, I have inherited a bond to the Fjord Horse breed. To be honest, I feel a personal calling in contributing to a more secure future for the Fjord Horse.
I have thought a lot about how I can contribute in the most effective way. I don't have a farm where I can house and breed lots of horses. I ain't got the required skills for that either. In stead I think the best solution is to build on my experience within the fields of project management, innovation and branding - and passion for cream liqueurs.
I have planned that for each future Fjording-bottle being sold, there will be donated 1 US dollar to projects, people and organisations which contributes to the welfare of the Fjording horse breed. In Norway, in the Nordic countries and around the globe.
The non-profit organization The Nordic Ark foundation will be the one who administer the funds.
If you'd like to read more about the importance of biodiversity (and the critical situation our world are in), please check out this article from 2015.
I also recommend to look up and support organisations which works on raising awareness on the importance of biodiversity. Because it's a highly under-communicated problem - and there are many plants and animals which are in a much more critical situation than the Fjording. For people in Norway; go visit Sabimas website.