Cider Cluster – building a new industry by sharing knowledge

Photo Credit: Rystein Grutle Haara

Knowledge economy: Throughout the value-chain for cider and wine, from the farmers to the consumers, knowledge is key. How do we share knowledge?

The Cider Cluster Hardanger – is a success story of cooperation and co-creation. An example of cooperation between producers and farmers, and between farmers, researchers, customers and the tourist industry. Together they share knowledge and facilitate growth. The cluster will help ensure quality, product development and innovation of cider from Hardanger.

Photo Credit: Store Naa

The Fruit Farmers are most competent and know their craft well. They know how to grow and how to accommodate market demands. In Hardanger they started to grow apples in the 12th century. Farmers have to both use their acquired expertise and gain new knowledge.

The Cider producers have to make sure their products are of value to their customers. That requires knowledge both about their product and their customers. Taste is personal, product is personal, but quality is obtained by knowledge. To meet customers’ expectations, this knowledge is important. A producer and innovator also needs to be a very good communicator and have strategic skills on many levels and arenas. The producers market stretches from you and me, to restaurants, tourism and the Wine monopoly in Norway. The knowledge and value-chain these producers are obtaining and delivering are growing fast, with a potential not known today. Through taste, sensation and meeting expectations, this adventure is becoming very important to our region Hardanger.

Nibio Ullensvang located at Lofthus, the core village of fruit farming, is a science and research center, essential and important for developing and innovating the fruit- and cider-industry of Hardanger. Thus, also adding value to the cider-industry and economy of the farmers, new activities and the municipality. 

Customers are essential – producers need to sell their products. We need to know what is valuable information (=knowledge) about the product. Customers are also very important communicators, and will share their knowledge of their experience in Hardanger next to sharing information about the product.

Photo Credit: Sysegard Siderklynga

Tourism is when customers come together, people visiting an area for a reason. The cider industry attracts many new guests to our region, gathering new knowledge about Hardanger. In total, tourism generates business for farmers, producers, hotels, restaurants, transportation and many other activities. Also, new activities are created. Its value-chain is based on knowledge. 

In sum the knowledge based economy moves in circles, or more likely, in spirals. Knowledge is being generated in one part of the value-chain and moved to another, where needed, and so on.

Knowledge is key, knowledge is the oil in the value-chain ‘machine.

1 Trude Rinaldo, Hardangerrådet iks, Postboks 78, NO-5782 Kinsarvi, Norway

2 Kjersti Kildahl, Norsk institutt for bioøkonomi (NIBIO), Postboks 115, NO-1431 Ås, Norway


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