Lerøy cancels top level meeting after email mix-up

Henning Beltestad, CEO Lerøy Seafood

Lerøy Seafood CEO Henning Beltestad has cancelled a second meeting with Norway’s Finance Minister Trygve Vedum on the salmon ground rent tax controversy.

It now appears that an e-mail address mix-up rather than an outright refusal is at the centre of the problem.

The meeting with Lerøy was on the minister’s meeting schedule on Friday and, according to the company told the broadcaster NRK , said a notice of cancellation was sent to the ministry earlier in the week, but the email address was incorrect.

Lerøy wants to seek a different outcome with Vedum and another meeting is likely to take place.

Vedum said later “Lerøy probably has good reasons for cancelling the meeting today, but my door is always open. It is always better to talk to each other than about each other.”

Last week, the five largest farming companies including Leroy, turned down a proposed meeting with the government, arguing that the industry should be represented by the employer organisations Sjømat Norge and Seafood Companies.

But the earlier frosty relations between the government and the industry appear to be showing signs of a thaw.

Mowi did meet the finance minister last week and, according to reports, the talks were both positive and constructive. The company’s communications director Ola Helge Hjetland told the newspaper Dagbladet that, during the half hour long meeting, Mowi went through the consequences the new tax will have on its business and the rest of the industry.

The Minister of Finance also met another aquaculture company Bremnes Seashore, on the same day as Mowi.

Trygve Slagsvold Vedum, Norway’s Finance Minister