Girls Rock!

One day, back in 2011, Icelandic activist Áa Einarsdóttir was in the United States exploring Oakland during her anthropology studies. There, she came upon a flyer advertising a music and activism camp for girls. Intrigued, Áa got in touch and was introduced to the far-reaching world of the Girls Rock Camp Alliance.

This content is only visible under subscription. Subscribe here or log in.

Continue reading

Isländisches Biolammfleisch soll exportiert werden

Bislang hatten Bioschafzüchter in Island kaum Mehrwert aus ihrer aufwendigeren Haltungsform ziehen können, wenn es an den Verkauf ihres Fleisches ging. Vermarktung und Verkauf der Biowaren liefen nicht besonders gut, inzwischen heißt es sogar, das Biofleisch sei es nicht wert, als eigenständige Ware vermarktet zu werden.

Doch nun soll sich für die Biobauern einiges ändern, denn ab dem kommenden Herbst soll das Biolammfleisch exportiert werden, berichtet das Bændablaðið.

Sechs isländische Schafzüchter haben ein Biosiegel für ihre Fleischerzeugnisse, doch bislang haben sie dafür kaum etwas extra erhalten. Im vergangenen Herbst hatte es keine Zulage gegeben, im Herbst 2017 hatten sie 10 Prozent mehr von den Schlachthäusern gezahlt bekommen. Einige konnten ihr Fleisch direkt vom Hof vermarkten, oder in Delikatessenläden und Bauernmärkten verkaufen.

Das Schlachthaus SAH (Kjarnafæði) in Blönduós ist derzeit das einzige in Island, welches sogenannte “Bioschlachtungen” vornimmt. Eine “Bioschlachtung” beinhaltet vor allem das Weglassen von scharfen Desinfektionsmitteln im Schlacht-und Verarbeitungsbereich. Bioschlachtung kann daher terminlich nur vor der herkömmlichen Schlachtung erfolgen.

Andrés Vilhjálmsson, Exportmanager bei Icelandic Lamb ehf., hat nun Kontakt zu Großhändlern in Europa aufgenommen, die großes Interesse an der Bioware zeigen. Wie er sagt, befinden sich die Verhandlungen auf einem guten Weg. Leider könne man noch nichts direkt ausfliegen, weil die Bioerzeugnisse im Schlachthaus mit herkömmlichen Fleischwaren zusammengelagert werden.

“Nach der kommenden Schlachtsaison soll dann fast das gesamte Biolammfleisch, das in Island hergestellt wird, exportiert werden, sicher um die 20 Tonnen. Wir sprechen hier davon, dass es auf diesem Markt einen um 15-20 Prozent höheren Preis dafür geben wird, als für herkömmliches Lammfleisch gezahlt wird. Ein großer Teil dieser Preiserhöhung wird direkt an den Bauern gehen. Die geschlachteten Lämmer werden dann mit europäischem Herkunftszeugnis und einem Biostempel der EU exportiert,” erklärt Andrés.

Halla Steinólfsdóttir, eine Schafzüchterin aus Ytri-Fagradalur in Skarðsströnd í Dölum bezeichnet die Nachricht als Freudenbotschaft.

“Das ist unglaublich wichtig für alle, aber natürlich besonders für uns wenige mit diesem Biosiegel. Unsere Starrsinnigkeit und unser Glaube an diesen Lebensstil zahlt sich nun endlich aus,” freut Halla sich. Es sei von großer Bedeutung, mehr für die Erzeugnisse zu bekommen. Sie sei eigentlich enttäuscht gewesen, dass dieser Qualitätsware nicht genügend Respekt entgegen gebracht worden sei, und dass sie nicht mit entsprechendem Wert bemessen worden sein. Die Regierung und Bauernverbände hätten den Schaferzeugnissen mit Biosiegel in ihren Zielsetzungen und Vermarktungsstrategien viel mehr Raum einräumen müssen.

“Das ist ganz toll, dass man nun das Fleisch direkt auf den isländischen Hof zurückführen kann, dort, wo das Lammfleisch herkommt. Das Siegel von Tún [ein isländisches Äquivalent zu Demeter] ist vergleichbar mit dem europäischen Siegel. Das ist allen bekannt und die Kunden vertrauen dem Siegel. Darin liegt unsere Chance.” sagt Halla, die Andrés dankbar für sein Engagement ist.

Hlynur Ársælsson, Vertreter der RW-Warenhandels GmbH, betont wie wichtig es ist, das Lammfleisch auf dem ausländischen Markt zu etablieren, um fortwährende Geschäftsbedingungen für die Biozucht sicherzustellen. “Es gibt viele Möglichkeiten in Europa für die Vermarktung von Bio-Lammfleisch mit Herkunftssiegel, und wir hatten Kontakt zu Personen, die in der Biozucht involviert waren, und sie waren kurz davor aufzugeben.”, sagt Hlynur. “Deshalb sind wir sehr erfreut darüber, diesen Menschen die Chance geben zu können, ihre Waren auf dem ausländischen Markt zu vermarkten und der hohen Qualität ihrer Waren entsprechend zu verdienen.”

Dieser Artikel wurde bearbeitet.

Hrísey Optimistic About Development Initiative

Inhabitants of the island of Hrísey are more optimistic about the ongoing ‘Fragile Communities’ initiative in which their community is participating, RÚV reports. The regional development project began on Hrísey 2015 and will end in December 2019; it’s anticipated that it will invest more in marketing initiatives for the island this year.

A project of the Icelandic Regional Development Institute, the Fragile Communities project (link in English) was founded in 2012 with the intention of collaborating with rural communities to address and counteract issues that have contributed to their decline, such as a lack of diversity in the local economy, changes to fisheries access, a decline in farming, seasonal tourism, a “negative spiral” in services, and lagging infrastructural development. Raufarhöfn in Northeast Iceland was the first community to participate in the initiative, which it did from 2012 – 2017. Since then, eight other communities have joined the project.

Hrísey is a small island (7.67 km2 / 2.96 m2) located in Eyjafjörður fjord, located 30 kilometres north of Akureyri and a fifteen-minute ferry ride from the village of Ásskógssandur. As of January 2018, 151 people lived on the island.

When Hrísey joined the project, its stated goal was the establishment of an “inviting and accessible island community, [with] a diverse economy and strong infrastructure.” However, many residents have felt that the Fragile Communities project was yielding few results in its initial years and, in 2017, criticized its implementation. Since then, however, many of the community’s smaller goals have been accomplished says Helga Íris Ingólfsdóttir, the Fragile Communities project manager for both Hrísey and Grímsey island. A new salt production facility was established on Hrísey, for example, as was a guest house and restaurant. An egg production plant, with facilities for 1,500 hens, will also soon open, thanks to funding from a Fragile Community grant. All combined, this has led to a perceptible change of attitude in the community. “I felt like there was more optimism than there’s been before,” Helga said. “People have more of an interest in taking a different approach to the debate.”

Helga said that expectations run high for government-funded initiatives, but that resources are nevertheless limited. “There’s just a few million krónur [ISK 1 million is equal to $8,315/€7,267] that we receive to distribute in grants,” she explained. “So this is more about showing solidarity and the desires of the inhabitants and their vision for the future, rather than there ever being some sort of direct, external assistance.”

This year, the project will be investing in marketing Hrísey. The goal is to attract more tourists to the island and appeal to investors who might be interested exploiting the island’s unique qualities and establishing new business opportunities there.

“Now there’s more experience behind the project, and there’s optimism that this will return real results,” said Halla Björk Reynisdóttir, president of the municipal council.

Tunnel Worker Death Not a Work-Related Incident

Vaðlaheiðargöng tunnel

The Administration of Occupational Health and Safety is seeking further information on a death that took place in Vaðlaheiðargöng tunnel in North Iceland, RÚV reports. The deceased, a man in his sixties who was working in the tunnel as a painter, was found dead on Wednesday in what police determined was not a work-related incident.

Mbl.is first reported the incident, noting that the man, who held Icelandic citizenship, was working in the tunnel’s ‘control room’ at the time of his death, which was sudden. The tunnel was closed for roughly ten minutes to give first responders access to the scene, but Health and Safety was not notified because the police did not think there was justifiable cause for doing so. This is standard procedure: first responders determine whether or not they believe an incident should be further investigated by Health and Safety. In some cases, however, the organization makes an independent request for information, as it has done on this occasion.

Netflix to Co-Produce Its First Icelandic Series

Netflix will be co-producing its first Icelandic TV series, The Valhalla Murders, RÚV reports. Variety confirms that the streaming giant will be investing €5.5 million [$6.3 million] in the eight-part series, which is set to premier Christmas 2019 on RÚV.

The story will center around Arnar, a Copenhagen-based police profiler who returns to Iceland to investigate his home country’s first serial killer case. At first, the murders don’t seem to be related, but then Arnar and local cop Kata discover that they are all connected to a now-closed home for boys called Valhalla, and the horrendous crimes that took place there 35 years before.

The series—which will be in Icelandic, despite its English title—has been coauthored by a talented group of writers: Margrét Örnólfsdóttir (Trapped 2 and Prisoners), Ottó Geir Borg (I Remember You), Mikael Torfason (Made in Iceland) and crime author Óttar M. Norðfjörð. Björn Thors (Prisoners; Paris of the North) will star as Arnar and Nína Dögg Filippusdóttir (Prisoners; Trapped) as Kata.

“This is a historic contract with Netflix” said Magnús Geir Þórðarson, RÚV’s director general. “This fascinating project in general is a big result for our more ambitious and focused work at RÚV aimed at massively increasing the selection, distribution, and above all else, the quality of Icelandic TV material.”

New Icelandic Passports Unveiled

A new version of the Icelandic passport will be unveiled today. Registers Iceland has been working on this new version, which includes added security features, as well as new interior illustrations of landscapes around Iceland and the Golden Plover, for two years. The new changes will cost 200 million krónur to implement [$1.6 million/€1.45  million].

The traditional blue colour of the passport cover will stay the same and the expiration dates on older passports will also remain valid. However, anyone who applies for a new Icelandic passport will receive the new version.

Registers Iceland has also significantly cut down on the wait time for a new passport. Last year, there was a two-week wait for new passports, but now, says division head Júlía Þórhallsdóttir, applicants will only have to wait two days for their new passports.