Contact with authorities - a senior management responsibility

A variety of regulations and conditions set the parameters for Orkla's activities. It is important for our senior managers to be aware of the limitations and exploit the opportunities.

By Håkon Mageli, responsible for trade policy, food safety and environment in the Orkla Group.

In Greek mythology, King Sisyphus' punishment in Hades was to push uphill a stone that rolled down again as soon as he reached the top. Work on beer taxes, customs tariffs and raw material prices may often seem like the labour of Sisyphus, but we mustn't give up. From our commercial base, we must seek out the opportunities. Orkla must have detailed knowledge of current operating parameters and adapt to them as well as possible. We must be aware of changes at an early stage, analyse them and implement the necessary measures. The new regulations relating to genetically modified organisms are one example; we are closely following developments in Brussels and in the countries where we operate.

In our priority areas, we engage in systematic lobbying. It is important to emphasise that this takes place quite openly. Our arguments are based on technical know-how and facts. We frequently use analyses carried out by independent organisations to underpin our views. Orkla has implemented several measures to ensure that our work on contacts with the authorities is more systematic. Among other things, we have established a forum for exchanging experience and methods between our various business areas.