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Adapting Seasonal Sheep Production to Year-Round Fresh Meat and Halal Market in Norway

Department of Animal and Aquacultural Sciences (IHA), Faculty of Biosciences, Norwegian University of Life Sciences (NMBU), P.O. Box 5003, 1432 Ås, Norway
Fatland Ølen AS, Kvassteinsvegen 2, 5580 Ølen, Norway
Graham Centre for Agricultural Innovation, Charles Sturt University, Wagga Wagga, NSW 2650, Australia
NSW Department of Primary Industries, Centre for Red Meat and Sheep Development, P.O. Box 129, Cowra, NSW 2794, Australia
Norwegian Institute of Bio-economy Research (NIBIO), P.O. Box 1430, Ås, Norway
Department of International Environment and Development Studies (Noragric), Norwegian University of Life Sciences, P.O. Box 5003, 1433 Ås, Norway
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Sustainability 2019, 11(6), 1554;
Received: 5 February 2019 / Revised: 4 March 2019 / Accepted: 8 March 2019 / Published: 14 March 2019
(This article belongs to the Section Sustainable Agriculture, Food and Wildlife)
PDF [4049 KB, uploaded 14 March 2019]


Norway is the largest sheep meat producer among Nordic countries with more than 1.3 million lambs and sheep slaughtered in 2017. The sheep industry is limited by the need for in-house feeding during the winter months. In summer, Norwegian sheep are mainly kept on rangeland pastures, with sufficient feed for almost double the current sheep population. Lambs are slaughtered over a three- to four-month period from September to December with a peak in September–October, providing a surplus of lamb, much of which is subsequently frozen, followed by eight months during which fresh produce is in limited supply. Norwegian consumers eat an average of 5.4 kg of sheep meat per person per year, much of which is purchased as a frozen product. The Muslim (4.2% of the population) preference for year-round halal meat, with an increased demand on the eve of the Muslim meat festival (Eid al-Adha), has the potential to boost demand, particularly in Oslo. This paper provides an overview of the Norwegian sheep farming system, the current market value chains, and the potential to meet the demand for halal meat in Norway (specifically during the Muslim meat festival—Eid al-Adha) to the advantage of both consumers and sheep farmers. View Full-Text
Keywords: halal; meat consumer; meat market; sheep farming; sustainable meat production halal; meat consumer; meat market; sheep farming; sustainable meat production

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This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited (CC BY 4.0).

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Bhatti, M.A.; Williams, T.; Hopkins, D.L.; Asheim, L.J.; Steinheim, G.; Campbell, M.; Eik, L.O.; Wynn, P.C.; Ådnøy, T. Adapting Seasonal Sheep Production to Year-Round Fresh Meat and Halal Market in Norway. Sustainability 2019, 11, 1554.

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