Nofima appoints Chairman and Director of Seafood

Thomas Farstad, Chairman, Nofima

Norwegian food research institute Nofima has elected a new Chairman, Thomas Farstad. Nofima has also announced the appointment of Bård-Thomas Østvang as Director of the Seafood division.

Thomas Farstad takes over from long-serving Chairman Olav Fjell as the new Chairman of the Board of Directors. Farstad, who was elected at the Nofima AGM on Thursday 9 June for a two-year term, has extensive experience of both aquaculture and fisheries. Until 2010, he held a number of key roles with Mowi and worked on fish farming and other activities in Norway, Canada, Scotland, Ireland and Asia. He headed up Aker Seafoods from 2010 until he assumed responsibility for Norway Seafoods in 2012.

Towards the end of 2017, Farstad became the CEO of Milarex, an international salmon processing company.

Farstad has also served as the Chairman of Norway’s Fishery and Aquaculture Industry Research Fund (FHF) for four years, and he has been a member of the Nofima board of directors for two years.

He said: “Nofima is crucial to food production from sea and land, in Norway and internationally. I look forward to working with the Board of Directors and the management team. Going forward, Nofima will continue to be an important provider of knowledge and research linked to sustainable food in national and global food systems alike.”

The AGM elected Eirik Selmer-Olsen as the Deputy Chairman, while the other board members are Tine Anette Grytnes Laskerud, Edel Storelvmo and Marianne Synnes Emblemsvåg.

Employees are represented by Cathrine Finne Kure, Gøril Voldnes and Bjørn Tore Rotabakk.

Bård-Thomas Østvang, the new Director of the Seafood division as from 1 August, succeeds Magnar Pedersen, who will be retiring this autumn. Seafood is one of three divisions at Nofima, the others being Aquaculture and Food.

Østvang is currently Executive Vice President of Innovation and Development at Aalesundfisk Holding, a company that became the new owner of Norwegian Fish Company in 2020. Østvang served as the CEO of Norwegian Fish Company at the time of its acquisition by Aalesundfisk Holding.

Nofima CEO Øyvind Fylling-Jensen said:  “I’m very pleased to have Bård-Thomas on the Nofima team. He has good knowledge of the industry and is therefore well equipped to determine how we as a research institute can best contribute our knowledge to strengthen competitiveness in the industry.”

Bård-Thomas is from Skjervøy and holds a master’s degree in business administration from the Norwegian School of Economics. He has also studied, among other things, market expertise and political science. For much of his professional life, Østvang worked for the consulting firm PWC before joining the fishing industry in 2017.

Thomas Farstad


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