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"Russian" caviar ready in Sweden

STRÖMSNÄSBRUK - All that glitters is not gold - Instead it may be shiny Swedish Black Caviar from Strömsnäsbruk. Soon, a first delivery will land at the fine restaurants in Stockholm. Then the world awaits. Join us on an exclusive visit to the caviar factory.

WILL SMALL BLACK ROE, from Strömsnäsbruk, land on the plates of the Nobel Festival in the future? We forgot to ask. But if it is exclusivity on the menu, there will be a chance. Think Swedish-Russian caviar from Siberian sturgeon locally produced in an old paper mill. According to foreman Ola Brandt, only the best matters - water, feed, care and handling of the roe grains. The business idea is not only about satisfying and saturating the domestic market, but also about exports. It requires a high and consistent premium quality to command a higher price on the world market.

ARTIC ROE OF SCANDINAVIA is here after a long journey. It started with two former soldiers who studied Russian during the Cold War and headed east after the fall of the Berlin Wall. They invested in oil and gold exploration and came home with an idea: grow sturgeon and produce their own caviar. This year, a first official harvest has been taken. Now, any week, the first order is to be dispatched, to a fish wholesaler in Stockholm. It could also be the very first in the kingdom's history. 

SO FAR, OVER 40 kilos of roe grains have been milked from the sturgeons. And soon it will be time for another round. The goal is to reach 100 kilos per year.

“We are a bit happy because we have received all permission from the Swedish Food Agency. And we notice that there is a great interest in locally grown exclusive sturgeon” says Torbjörn Ranta, co-owner and CEO. There seems to be a market for, for example, cans of 40 grams which, at the consumer level, cost SEK 800. Or, according to our calculation, almost 3 kroner per roe grain. Or, according to Thursday's daily price, four times more expensive than the silver in the spoon.

NOW THEY HAVE control over the business, today's four pools will become eight.

- And we then hope to double once more in 2020. We are on the right track. And we hope for moderate profitability next year. They also got high marks from a chef's meeting at the top restaurant PM & Vänner in Växjö, and a visit from the food professor Carl Jan Granqvis, established contact with other food profiles. 

But it all starts with a scare.

The imported Sturgeon from Italy were infected with a virus. They had to be euthanized and the facility disinfected. The next investment, half a million kroner for 100 imported fish from Riga, has thankfully developed better.

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