Norwegian meat group Gilde Norsk Kjott BA is merging with local poultry products group Prior Norge BA to form a new company called Gilde Prior BA and preserve a strong workforce in the country.

Subject to approval by the Norwegian commerce authorities, Gilde Norske is hoping the proposed merger will be completed on the 25 April 2006.

“The main aim for this development is to keep a strong Norwegian ownership for both companies and protect the local workforce as we face stiff market competition,” a spokesperson for Gilde Norske told just-food. “Gilde Prior will have greater product innovation, food safety and lower prices, in-keeping with Norway’s high safety standards as a whole.” 

Both Prior Norge and Gilde Norske are co-operative companies, employing 7,000 Norwegian farmers altogether.

The merged group will make meat and poultry products at plants countrywide. According to the Norwegian News Digest, Prior holds 70% of the Norwegian egg market, 75% of the turkey market and 80% of the chicken market.