PROMOTING BRAND SCANDINAVIA
ISSUE 2 SEPTEMBER 2008
M A G A Z I N E
MEET THE SWEDISH BARON IN SCOTLAND THE SASSY SISTERS FROM NORWAY A GLACIER ROLLS OVER THE UNITED KINGDOM
I am ice I am as cold as a Norwegian winter I travel my own way on a long journey through wilderness and Hardanger mountains until I melt ice clear to nothingness and pure water replaces my footsteps.
Isklar. Pure glacier Natural glacial mineral water from Norway www.isklar.no
Scan Magazine | Contents
Profile | Meet the Swedish Baron in Scotland – And the mystery of Rosslyn Chapel
14 Design | We Love This
– Scandinavian Design
Scan Business 21 Mossi Suss | The Sassy Sisters from Norway – They've got it sussed
25 Isklar | Ice Clear and Freshly Squeezed – Norway’s new bottle in the cooler
31 Tax | When it Pays to Take Advice 32 Sustainable Business | We Gotta Do Something! – Interview with Niels Eirik Nertun from Scandinavian Airlines
34 Consido | Relocation, Relocation, and Manage Expectation –Interview with Suzanne Bolinder
36 News from the Scandinavian Chambers of Commerce
41 Food | Bronte’s Crayfish Party – The traditional Swedish and Finnish summer tradition
46 Food | A Taste of Icelandic Passion – Texture | Restaurant of the month
49 Travel | Stavanger – European Capital of Culture 2008
54 Culture | Love London – An exhibition of photographs by Barbara Chandler at Habitat
56 Culture | Scandinavian Culture Calendar – Where to go, what to see? It’s all happening here!
64 Sport | Get involved in the Football League of the Year 65 Sport | A Blue & Yellow Tiger with Somalian Stripes – Interview with olympic long distance runner Mustafa Hassan Mohamed
66 Sport | For Finnish Togetherness – Join the LoPS! Issue 2 | September 2008 | 3
Scan Magazine | Editors Note
Dear Reader, Thank you for all the letters and for all the encouraging feedback to the first issue of Scan Magazine. When you start something it is all about the heart, guts and the desire to take a few risks. I feel that we share that aspiration with many of the Scandinavian entrepreneurs we write about. Two sisters who have the necessary courage to attack the UK market are Kjersti and Idun behind the Mossi Suss children’s clothes concept. It is often said that what differentiates Scandinavian business ventures in the market place is their highly regarded talent for design. Very true; the Mossi Suss design is fantastic. I am proud to have gathered a team of competent writers who are set to cover Scandinavian business, design, food, culture and much more. Writers such as Barbara Chandler, Bronte, Ian Welsh and Sarah Sidibé are not easy to find but we all deserve a bit of luck some time. I encourage you to use us in any way possible. We are here to write about your business and events so contact us with your ideas and suggestions
thing exists. Our journalist had the most exciting trip to his fairytale residence. Also, don’t forget to check out our new “We Gotta Do Something” feature. We are giving Scandinavian companies a column to boast about initiatives they take to conduct business in an environmentally sustainable way. We advance confidently in our dream of taking Brand Scandinavia to new heights. Watch us do it!
The diversity of Scandinavian enterprise will be revealed in our brand new business section. There is so much new stuff that it would be easier if you just flipped your way down there. But before we talk business do visit Baron Bonde (page 6): he is not your typical Baron – if a such
Published by Scan Magazine Limited Design & Print Liquid Graphic Limited Editor Thomas Winther Art Direction Mads E. Petersen Copy-editor Mark Rogers
4 | Issue 2 | September 2008
Contributors Barbara Chandler Ian Welsh Sarah Sidibé Bronte Blomhoj Rikke Bruntse-Dahl Anna Maria Espsäter Lee-Ann Cameron Photos Magnus Arrevad Yiannis Katsaris Culture Calendar Marianne Thomsen
M A G A Z I N E
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Contributors Barbara Chandler is the design writer for
Rikke Bruntse-Dahl. Being a greenie at
Homes & Property, the weekly Wednesday supplement of the London Evening Standard. She has worked as a specialist writer on interiors and decoration for over 30 years, contributing to many leading UK and European publications. Books she has written include The Home Design Source Book, and Where to Get the Look. She is Journalist of the Year 2007 (as awarded by the National Home Improvement Council).
heart, Rikke has written extensively on eco issues for a variety of publications including The Observer, New Consumer and SmartPlanet. Ethical consumerism and green business behaviour are her main areas of interest.
Ian Welsh is a UK-based independent writer and editor with nearly 15 years experience in business publishing. With a background in corporate communications, he now specialises in corporate responsibility and supply chain issues.
Sarah SidibĂŠ Everas is an experienced print and broadcast journalist based in London. She has worked for Reuters, the BBC, Sveriges Television, and Expressen, among others.
Lee-Ann Cameron is a self-confessed Scandiphile who moved to London after finishing a postgraduate degree in History of Art at the University of Edinburgh. She currently works for one of the major auction houses and works in the contemporary art department.
Thomas Winther â€“ Editor. Originally from Denmark, Thomas has a background in Economic consultancy and holds a BA and a Masters in Economics. Prior to becoming the Editor of Scan Magazine he worked in the City of London. He is now on a personal mission to take Brand Scandinavia to new heights. Thomas lives in Blackheath London with his beloved fiancĂŠe who is expecting their first son in September. Email email@example.com
Issue 2 | September 2008 | 5
“We haven’t met before but my name is Bonde – Baron Bonde” 6 | Issue 2 | September 2008
Scan Magazine | Profile
MEET THE SWEDISH BARON IN SCOTLAND By Sarah Sidibé | Photos: Magnus Arrevad
Jöns St.Clair Bonde sits down in one of the castle’s salons. He starts talking about his ancestors, how Sean Connery came to design the 13th hole on his golf course and why he receives threatening letters from fanatical Da Vinci Code fans. Scan Magazine meets the Swedish Baron in Scotland. As you drive through the massive iron gates of Charleton House you cannot help being impressed by the sheer size and imposing beauty of this Georgian castle. Situated an hour north of Edinburgh in the picturesque area of Fife, Charleton House is home to Swedish baron Jöns St.Clair Bonde and his Swedish wife Kristina. As you digest your impressions of the impressive estate it is hard not to wonder how somebody so seemingly Swedish ended up in a place so utterly Scottish. Baron Bonde explains: “My grandmother on my father’s side was the Scottish heiress to the estate. When her brother was sadly killed in the First World War, in 1914, she inherited Charleton. She went on to marry my grandfather who was a Swede called Knut Bonde. He was a diplomat on service in Great Britain. I am the third generation living here with a Swedish connection, although I’m the ninth generation living in the house.” “Do you consider yourself Swedish or Scottish?” I ask him. “I’m British; I grew up here and went to Eton College. But I have strong Swedish connections and I do spend quite a lot of time in Sweden .There is no question that when I’m
here, surrounded by my Scottish ancestors hanging on the walls, I feel very Scottish. But when I’m in Sweden I suppose the Swedish element comes forward” “What’s the biggest difference between Scottish and Swedish people?” “The Scots are more open and friendly, it’s quite distinct. If I go for a run with my dogs here and I meet somebody I say hello and how are you. That’s not the case in Sweden. If I’m out running and say hello to somebody they think I’m a rapist. Sweden is a fairly cool nation and the Swedes like to be run by strict laws.” Charleton House is as impressive on the inside as it is on the outside. The walls of the grand saloon are filled with large oil paintings of the Baron’s stoney-faced ancestors. The windows carry the traditional thick velvet curtains customary of the era and every piece of furniture has a history spanning centuries. A centre piece is the over 100 year-old chair which was made for Queen Victoria. In the middle of the Saloon lies the skin of a great white lioness, mouth wide open showing off her teeth. At this point, however, you are not so worried about the lioness or the numerous ghosts which are said to reside at Charleton House, but more about remembering etiquette rules. “Same procedure as last year,” says St.Clair Bonde pointing at the lioness’s head. The Baron’s reference to the TV classic ‘Dinner for One’ which is shown in most Scandinavian countries every New Year’s Eve immediately
Issue 2 | September 2008 | 7
Charleton House: The castle has over 40 rooms.
subdues concerns about strict adherence to proper etiquette at Charleton. In fact, the Baron is a man who likes to tell jokes and who does not take himself too seriously. “These are George Bush’s balls,” St.Clair Bonde says with a smile as he presents two golf balls which were a gift from the former US president George Bush senior. And he goes on to point out that the artists who painted his portrait gave him a far too big nose – although he concedes that it is probably larger than average in real life. Connery and the Golf Course Located in Fife and not far from St Andrew’s – known to many as the golfer’s Mecca – it seemed natural for St.Clair Bonde to transform some of the 1,000 acre estate
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into two golf courses. In 1992, the Baron opened Charleton Golf Club with one 18-hole course and one 9-hole course. Today large groups of golfers come here not only to play golf, but also to take the opportunity to stay at the beautiful Charleton House. The Club quickly became popular amongst Swedes from overseas for several reasons. “If you are living overseas and want to become a member at Charleton there is no entry fee at all and there is only an annual subscription of 950 Swedish Crowns, about £75. As a member you can play as much as you like, for free, but you also get a handicap card which means that members can play on any course in the world. If you are a UK resident you can get a country membership which is £195,” explains the Baron.
For the opening of the golf courses, the Baron needed someone famous – and he decided to go for local produce. “At the time I was playing in a tournament in St Andrews. Sean Connery is also a member of the Royal and Ancient Golf Club and he was playing that day too. After the game I went back to the club house and waited for him. He came in, looking rather tired and I went up to him and I sort of wanted to break the ice so I put my hand on his shoulder and said: ‘We haven’t met before but my name is Bonde – Baron Bonde.’ He didn’t think it was funny at all and looked at me like I was a complete idiot – which I certainly felt like. After a long silence he said: ‘Well, what do you want?’ I explained to him that I wondered if he would open my golf course. He told me to write to him and then walked off. I quickly wrote him a note, inviting him for dinner, and left it in the club house for him. Later that day he called saying he would love to come for dinner and he would be very happy to open my course. We played a round of golf and he helped design the 13th hole.” Unfortunately, filming commitments prevented Connery from attending the course opening, but the Baron quickly found a replacement. “At the time George Bush senior was about to be elected an honorary member of the Royal and Ancient Golf Club of St.Andrews. I happened to know the person who was organising the whole thing and one thing led to another and George Bush came along. We played a game of golf and then he opened the course,” says St.Clair Bonde. This was right after the first Gulf War and since Saddam Hussein had threatened to kill Bush senior the opening ceremony took place with a massive security presence. These days, however, things are a bit quieter at Charleton. Each year the Baron has a club championship for three days, a sort of a Ryder Cup, between the club’s Scottish and Swedish members – so far the Swedes have never won. And every autumn the Baron opens the gates to Charleton for big shooting parties that last for days.
Issue 2 | September 2008 | 9
Rosslyn Chapel was built in 1446 by William Sinclair. Apart from all the attention it got from the ‘The Da Vinci Code’ it is also famous for its beautiful architecture.
The Mystery of Rosslyn Chapel The noble family of St.Clair Bonde has a strong connection to Dan Brown’s bestseller ‘The Da Vinci Code’. In the book, the heroine’s grandmother is the keeper of the medieval Rosslyn Chapel, but in reality it’s Jöns St.Clair Bonde who is one of the Chapel’s five trustees. “The Chapel was built in 1446 by William Sinclair, who was my great times 16 grandfather so I am his direct descendant,” he says. “What did you think about ‘The Da Vinci Code’?” “My son gave me the book and said you must read this because it is all about you. Before I read Dan Brown’s book I had read ‘The Holy Blood And The Holy Grail’ about the St.Clair family so I knew where Brown got his ideas from.
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I thought The Da Vinci Code was quite fun to read as it had a lot to do with my family and the chapel.” When the book was released visitors to Rosslyn Chapel increased ten-fold. But so did the pressure to start digging under the chapel to find out what really lies hidden beneath. Even before ‘The Da Vinci Code’, several theories suggested that historical objects, which could have a profound impact on how we view Christianity, are buried under the chapel – the most famous one being the Holy Grail. In his book Dan Brown claims that Jesus Christ was married to Mary Magdalene who carried his child and the Holy Grail is supposed to consist of the documents that testify to this bloodline. The majority of requests have been peaceful and made by curious people. But then there were the fanatics.
Several theories suggest that the Holy Grail is buried underneath the chapel.
“There were some odd people that turned up wanting to start digging under Rosslyn and we’ve had to call the police. Fanatics have a very strange way of seeing things so you have to be a little bit careful. We also receive very strange letters from people with some very odd ideas,” he explains. Although the Baron has always been in favour of finding out what is under Rosslyn chapel Historic Scotland, an authority which controls Scottish building heritage, prevents him from doing so. “Historic Scotland has made Rosslyn a scheduled monument, which means that nobody can cut even a blade of grass without their permission. So even we as
trustees can do nothing without getting the permission from Historic Scotland – I doubt they would ever give us permission to dig there.” “Why not?” “It may well be that they are a bit concerned that they might find something that they can’t handle. So the general consensus is to leave it.” “Do you think Rosslyn Chapel harbours something explosive?” “Yes I do. I think that the theory that the Knights Templar found some scrolls in 1100AD presented in the book ‘The Hiram Key’ is interesting. According to its authors, the original Knights Templar spent considerable time in the
Issue 2 | September 2008 | 11
The Swedish King and Queen have stayed at Charleton. The Clan Sinclair
temple of Jerusalem digging and they found something that was the beginning of the Knights Templar. Now, whatever they found was pretty dynamic. We don’t know what happened to it, but there is fairly conclusive evidence that it could well have been deposited under the Chapel. These scrolls are from the same period as the Dead Sea scrolls and it is quite possible that these scrolls would show what happened when Jesus Christ lived and died. They could be pretty explosive as it may not be the same as you read in the bible,” concludes Jöns St.Clair Bonde.
- The Sinclairs are a noble family which has its origins in Saint-Clair-sur-Epte, in Normandy, France . - The Sinclairs came to Scotland in 1068 where the family received a grant of the Barony of Roslin in exchange for a bride. - The clan has a violent history, notably the clan conflicts and the Anglo-Scottish war during the 16th century. - Baron Jöns St. Clair Bonde is the third generation living at Charleton with a Swedish connection. - Other prominent people from the Clan are Sir Clive Sinclair, entrepreneur and inventor, Trevor Sinclair, footballer and Harry F. Sinclair, an American oil industrialist.
www.charleton.co.uk Source: Scotclans.com, Wikipedia, ClanSinclair.org
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Fridge Carafe by Tools for Eva Solo
Thermocups by Verner Panton for MENU
Steel Vacuum Jug by Erik Magnussen for Stelton
FlowerPot pendant light by Verner Panton
Washing-up Bowl by Ole Jensen for Normann Copenhagen
DOT Cushions by Janne Wendt for Wendt Design
Lovebirds Wall Sticker by ferm LIVING
Canada mouth blown glasses by Per L체tken for Holmegaard
Cammeo bone china storage jars with 6 vibrant coloured bands by Louise Campbell for K채hler
AJ Cylinda Line Teapot by Arne Jacobsen for Stelton
Wild Flower wallpaper from ferm LIVING
Non slip laptray by Bosign
Chocolate Fondue Set by Jakob Wagner for MENU
Salad Bowl & Servers by Schmelling for EGO
Devine glass bowl by Peter Svarrer for Holmegaard
Glow table lamp by John Sebastian for Holmegaard
Bulb by Sofie Refer for Unique Copenhagen
Ribbed black - couch fashion from ferm LIVING
shop online or call FREE on 0800 085 9054
www.95Danish.com the UK home to Danish style
Scan Magazine | Design
We love this... There is so much cool Scandinavian design that we would like to show you. In fact we love this!
The Iittala Origo dinnerware Designed by Alfredo Häberli in 1999, is contemporary brightly-striped ceramic bowls, cups, and plates. The cups are available for £85 /set of 6. www.cloudberryliving.co.uk Pohjanmaa Designed by Maija Isola. Cushion sells for £45. www.marimekko.co.uk
Thermometer by Georg Jensen Designed by Henning Koppel. 10cm, steel frame with white face. Retails for £65.00 www.skandium.com
Skagen Ladies Steel Watch Slim design, unsurpassed quality and great fit describe the steel collection. Retails at £90 www.skagen.co.uk
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Topan Pendant Designed by Verner Panton and available in black, white, yellow, red, turquoise and orange Retails at £160.00 www.95percentdanish.co.uk
KONA Coffee maker Gold tone filter and short spout. retails for £38.00 Available at www.bodum.com
Scan Magazine | Design
Tree Stand By Swedese. Design Katrin Petursdottir & Michael Young. Large freestanding coat stand 194cm. Available in white, black or oak. From £422 www.skandium.com
Pipette By Camilla Kropp Use the pipette to measure out exactly how much of each condiment you want. Retails at £36.95 www.designhousestockholm.com
Scandinavian Country By Magnus Englund and Chrystina Schmidt. The houses featured in this book will inspire you to explore Scandinavian country furniture, textiles and other materials. Retails at £18.99 www.skandium.com
Babies love this...
Pink tree print and blue rainbow stripe Long sleeved body by Danefae. It's a babies favourite. Retails at £21.99 www.nordickids.co.uk
Mossi Suss Facecloth, pink. Made of 100% cotton, with velour finish. Size 30 cm x 30 cm. Price £3 www.mossisuss.com
Issue 1 | Summer 2008 | 15
We love this...
Scan Magazine | Design
Sola Swedish Kitchens is a small owner-run company based in Wimbledon, SW London. They specialise in affordable solid wood bespoke cabinets hand-crafted in Sweden. Please visit their website www.solakitchens.com to see their designs or call 0845 862 0297 for more information.
Välj. No one flies to more Scandinavian destinations. Check out all our destinations and timetables at flysas.co.uk. By the way, “Välj” means choose in Swedish – as in, Flying SAS makes your travel more flexible. Choose between Business, Economy Extra or Economy in our three class system – it’s your choice!
Stockholm Copenhagen Oslo Gothenburg Stavanger Bergen Ålesund flysas.co.uk
BoConcept – urban design By Shaun Davies | Photos: BoConcept Danish company BoConcept is renowned World-wide as a leader in Urban Design. In London, Mireille Baumgart has established successful showrooms at Harrods and Selfridges.
Notting Hill Customers are varied, including property developers and architects. “Many return time after time – many whom we helped create a home style return for finishing touches such as rugs, cushions and vases.”
“We create design that is not only beautiful to look at but also helps solve Customers’ interior challenges,” says Mireille, who is very excited with BoConcept’s unique free design service. “It’s not where you live, more an attitude to living. Customers have the option to customise for furniture suiting their needs and expressing their true style!”
Mireille is busy preparing for the 2009 Catalogue launch, with a key event at Notting Hill on 6/7 September. It is a major event in interior design: journalists will be flocking to the launch. “The 2009 collection has exceeded even our expectations.”
Mireille’s newest store, in Notting Hill, is her Flagship store. Its Westbourne Grove location was chosen because it fits the BoConcept profile perfectly. “Our Notting Hill Customers are very style-conscious.” The design service has been an astounding success over the past two years. “Notting Hill has been incredible and has surprised us all. So many Customers come to us by word-of-mouth, proving how important excellent service is in an environment with a real sense of ‘community’, of which we love to be a part. Our service includes a free home visit which has been incredibly popular.”
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2009 has three moods – ‘Mystery Mood’, ‘Global Ground’ and ‘Dimension Delight’. Mystery Mood for sophistication and luxury; Global Ground is based on nature, comfort, fabrics and global cultures. Dimension Delight is a development of BoConcept’s famous minimal lifestyle, cool, clean, simple and functional. It is clear that Mireille’s team share her enthusiasm and passion for design. Walking out of her Notting Hill store I turn back to see everyone busy with customers, smiling and chatting enthusiastically, enjoying a coffee: here is a place that offers true Scandinavian hospitality!
Scandinavian Speakers Needed
Do you speak Swedish, Finnish, Danish, Norwegian or Icelandic? Check out the great job opportunities for speakers of Scandinavian Languages on www.scanjobs.co.uk Scandinavian Chefs, Waiters, kitchen Assistants | Scandinavian Translators Finnish Game Testers | Swedish Web & Customer Services Operator Scandinavian Telephone Interviewers | Swedish Credit Controller | Icelandic Customer Service | Finnish Translator | Scandinavian Sports Trader Scandinavian Client Relationship Executive | Norwegian Channel Account Manager | Finnish Credit Controller | Danish Customer Support | Scandinavian Telemarketers | Scandinavian Partnership Manager | Danish Key Account Manager
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Scan Business | Profile
20 | Issue 2 | September 2008
Scan Business | Profile
“Sisters, sisters – There were never such devoted sisters…” Irving Berlin
Barbara Chandler meets
The Sassy Sisters from Norway – they've got it sussed Denmark, Sweden and Finland pretty much hog the design limelight here in the UK. Norway doesn't get much of a look in. But Norwegian sisters Kjersti and Idun Munkejord are out to change all that. They launched their design company, Mossi Suss, in August last year. It has already been a runaway success in their home country. And now they are bringing their products to Britain. So what does Mossi Suss mean? (You can tell I'm British). The sisters obligingly explain that Mossi was Kjersti's childhood nickname, "and Suss means kiss, in a childish sort of way." That figures, because what Mossi Suss make are eminently soft and huggable things for kissable kids, such as finely-textured bathrobes, towels, fleece jackets and blankets. But it's the colours and the distinctive Mossi Suss pattern that is so original and appealing. A marginally-mad menagerie, drawn in a child-like way, is amusing yet poetic. A first it seems like a friendly farmyard...but isn't that a giraffe? Oh, and a tortoise? "My influences are children" These great graphics are the work of Kjersti (whose full name is Kjersti Munkejord Lamb, thanks to a previous British marriage.) "My influences are children. I love the way they draw things. It's so simple and always beautiful."
Nevertheless, Kjersti has a formidable adult art training, first in Norway, and then at Nottingham Trent University, getting an MA in Fashion & Textiles. She has worked as a designer in New York and London, and, more recently, as design manager for a big Norway bed linen outfit. "But I just knew I'd have my own brand one day. I am very passionate, with strong design ideas. I don't like to compromise." "Take a risk" Idun, who is just 37, is the older by three years, has studied international business in the US and in Spain, and has an equally impressive track record in company development and administration. "But I am always looking for a new challenge. You've got to take a risk if you are going to do anything special." Kjersti is "the creative," Idun says. Then she adds: "But I've got the organising mind." So are they the perfect team? "Yes, we complement each other, as we have such strong skills in separate areas." To cap it all, this dynamic design duo are also delightfully pretty, in that assured, blonde, Scandinavian way. Just look at them, laughing out from their charming website, www.mossisuss.com. There are four beautiful children on there, too, with near-white hair, fooling around and making marvellous models. And, yes, you've guessed it.
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Scan Business | Profile
Idun is the mother of the two girls, Ida Kristine, aged seven, and Elise, aged four. And the boys are Kjersti's: Andrew, six, and Reidar, four. Idun's partner is a policeman, and Kjersti's a project manager in the oil industry.
Childhood home was KarmĂ¸y, a beautiful small island on the south west coast of Norway. Their father is an English teacher, mum a nurse. "We learnt to be creative very early on. And we travelled a lot with our parents and they told us that only the sky is the limit."
"Love changes you completely"
"Faith brought us together again"
Mossi Suss is built on family values, and a deep love of children permeates the design philosophy of this young company. Working from home brings the joy of a fuller family life. And their company slogan is deliberately uncommercial "We are offering a unique touch of love." A sincere dedication comes with all their products, as a little message/poem: "Precious Child: You are a wonderful creation, special in every way. You make our life happy and meaningful. We are so blessed to have you in our lives." In a modern often godless society, the sisters are unambiguous about their Christian beliefs. "When love enters your life, it changes you completely. Just imagine how a child loves. It's unconditional - just amazing."
Sisterhood, too, was nourished at that time. "We always hung out together." Later, when they were training, they were apart for ten years - "and we missed each other loads." Now they both live within walking distance in Kristiansand, in the south of Norway, where it's often quite hot. "Pure luck - and faith - brought us together again." They would never move apart now, they say. "Our children are the same age, and are virtually siblings." Mind you, the boys are getting a little bored now with Mossi Suss, but the girls are full of bright ideas - for hats, say, or umbrellas.â€?
Such morality goes back to their childhood, as indeed does their creativity and drive.
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Kjersti's and Idun's' parents are very proud of their daughters' new venture - "but they worry if we quarrel, which of course we do all the time... But that's a strength and not a threat. Running a business with your sister either hell or heaven."
Scan Business | Profile
â€œThose who've seen us Know that not a thing could come between us Many men have tried to split us up, but no one can Lord help the mister who comes between me and my sister And lord help the sister, who comes between me and my manâ€? Irving Berlin, again
Idun Munkejord and Kjersti Munkejord Lamb
Business methods can be unconventional. They found Chinese manufacturers at small trade fairs...and through chats at Chinese restaurants. "There is always somebody who knows somebody who knows somebody!" Wearing Mossi Suss fleece jackets and skirts is a simple and cheap form of advertising. "Some people smile and want a catalogue (which we always carry.) Others ask if we were paid to wear such a silly outfits." They've got a great sense of humour.
patriotic. But Norway is packed with inspiration, with all our beautiful fjords and the mountains. Traditional craftsmanship is strong. We're doing an adult collection to launch in February - and it's going to be very Norwegian." Kjersti devoted her MA to a study of Norway's art, design and folk heritage. "And actually, yes, we ourselves are very proud of being blonde Scandinavian stereotypes. Hi hi hi."
The past year has been a tough slog. "We've never worked this much in our lives. But we've only been going a year, and we're getting more efficient every day." They admit they were naive at the beginning. "It's been much harder than we ever imagined. We probably wouldn't have started had we realised the problems. But what we've achieved within a year makes us feel pretty good." "Blonde stereotypes?" And that business of being Norwegian? "Well, our country still has a long way to go, to get to Danish and Swedish design standards. And we still hardly have any higher design education. We're old-fashioned, perhaps, but very
Photos: Mossi Suss
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Scan Business | Profile
Ice Clear and Freshly Squeezed – Norway’s new bottle in the cooler By Ian Welsh | Photos: Yiannis Katsaris
With a distinctive ice crystal bottle design and backed by a £2.5 million advertising campaign, Norwegian mineral water brand Isklar has launched in a blaze of publicity in the UK. Speaking exclusively to Scan Magazine, company CEO Peter Krogh explains how premium glacial water can be delicious, pollution-free and carbon neutral. “We are able to produce a water of exceptional quality, sourced from the 6,000 year-old Folgefonna glacier. It’s not a recent discovery, as the locals have been drinking it since the 12th century,” says Isklar’s CEO, Peter Krogh. Indeed, the fact that the water that Isklar is bottling comes from ice created thousands of years ago means that it dates from pre-industrial times and was formed in an environment that was entirely without man-made pollutants – something very attractive to consumers. Krogh is aiming to position the brand as the market leader in terms of sustainability and environmental good practice. This process starts with the company’s factory and bottling plant, located at the foot of the Folgefonna glacier at the edge of Hardangerfjord. “We have a state of the art facility that has been created from converting an old mill building. We use only hydroelectric power and have incorporated the most up-to-date energy-efficient
equipment and practices. We use recycled materials across the business – including fixtures and fittings, and our office furniture. We also encourage – successfully – all our staff to walk, cycle or take public transport to work.” The fjord-side location means that Isklar can ship direct from the factory to foreign markets, including the UK. In keeping with the company’s eco-sensitive policies, Krogh’s team identified existing conveniently-located shipping routes that they could piggy-back onto and use up spare capacity rather than establish entirely new routes. Krogh explains: “As an example, we have teamed up with a company exporting zinc – it’s a good match as that is a high-mass, low-volume commodity meaning there is plenty of space available for our low-mass, high-volume water bottles.” Isklar has recently been approved as a carbon-neutral company and Krogh emphasises the company’s very strong commitment to being the most environmentally aware water brand in Europe. He doesn’t see it as something that is optional, however. “We all need to be sustainable,” he says. “Particularly in our business, where we extract something from the natural environment, we
Issue 2 | September 2008 | 25
Scan Business | Profile
need to be especially protective of our surroundings so that resources are preserved for the future. It’s not just about being kind to the environment, though. Sustainability is good for business, keeping costs down and also developing good brand image. Krogh is keen to dispel what he calls “misrepresentations” that have sprung up as part of the recent on-going debate in UK regarding the merits of tap and bottled water. “We’re carbon neutral, so on that basis we are more than a match for tap water. Even so, currently the UK average of 36 litres per head of bottle water contributes 0.06% of annual carbon footprint. If you drive your car 12,000 miles a year, that’s the equivalent of consuming 20,000 litres of bottled water.” Krogh’s point is that there are many significantly better ways to lower emissions and carbon footprints than stopping drinking bottled water, from any supplier. The market for bottled water in the UK already has many big well-known brands, and Isklar is breaking into a very competitive sector. So what is it about the company’s
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water that will get British consumers excited? Krogh says: “The fact our water comes from a glacier surrounded by very hard rocks means its absorbed mineral content is very low, giving it a remarkable crisp, clean, taste. Many other waters have spent some time filtering through softer rocks meaning their mineral content is higher – giving them a distinct aftertaste.” Isklar’s water comes from the glacier through the process of pressure melting – literally the weight of the ice causes melting at the base of the glacier, which is then collected and bottled at Isklar’s factory. “So we have the only freshly squeezed water on the market!” Krogh says. And in a time of concern about rising global temperatures, and retreating glaciers, the Folgefonna glacier is in fact growing. “In the past three years, the glacier has increased in size back where it was in 1942,” Krogh says. It is a truly sustainable resource that has been utilised for centuries – and not just by the locals. In 1823, during a
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“UK consumers have a wide range of French mineral waters to choose from – but we’re from Norway and sourced from a glacier. In other words, we’re different.” Peter Krogh
period of glacier calving – when pieces naturally were breaking off at the glacier’s edge – the ice was harvested and shipped to the UK. As the glacial ice is particularly dense, it was able to survive the journey intact. So Isklar’s launch in the UK is reviving a trading route established nearly two hundred years ago. Another big plus for Isklar, Krogh argues, is that they are not a French brand. “UK consumers have a wide range of French mineral waters to choose from – but we’re from Norway and sourced from a glacier. In other words, we’re different.” Krogh says that Norway’s “clean image” is a very positive part of Isklar’s attraction. “People in the UK appreciate Norwegians as loving the outdoor life, and being world leaders environmentally.” This good brand image has attracted three leading UK supermarket chains – Waitrose, Sainsbury’s and Morrisons – to stock Isklar’s water on their shelves. And despite a slow trading environment – “Every business is finding it difficult,” Krogh says – he is confident of the brand’s success in the “very professional UK retail sector,
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which has shown a great ability to adapt to difficult circumstances”. While the UK product launch has been the principle recent focus for Isklar, the company plans to consolidate with further international expansion. “We want to become a leading international brand, and are looking initially at the Asian and Middle East markets, as well as continuing to expand in Europe,” Krogh says.
UK bottled water – number crunch • Market worth £1.5 billion in 2007 • 2.18 billion litres consumed in 2007, up from 1.76 billion litres in 2002 • Equivalent to 36 litres consumed per head in 2007; 29 litres per head in 2000 • Still water makes up 86% of market, 14% sparkling. Source: Zenith International/British Bottled Water Producers
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Helena Whitmore, a tax specialist from law firm Grundberg Mocatta Rakison LLP
30 | Issue 2 | September 2008
Scan Business | Tax
Tax | When it pays to take advice We all take relative freedom of movement and employment for granted, especially within the EU. But, as tax adviser and new Scan Magazine columnist Helena Whitmore points out, the taxman isn’t always as flexible By Ian Welsh | Photos: Yiannis Katsaris
The old adage about there being nothing surer than death and taxes couldn’t be more true for ex-pats living and working some of the time in one country and some in another. And when it comes to tax planning, it is most definitely not a case of “one size fits all”. Helena Whitmore, a tax specialist from law firm Grundberg Mocatta Rakison LLP, says: “Getting individual advice is very important. I find that every client is unique, whatever their circumstances. People often assume that tax matters work in a certain way, but sadly this is not the case.” It is perfectly usual now for someone to work three days a week in an office and then two days somewhere else entirely. “But where do you belong? What you regard as your residence may not be in agreement with the tax authorities,” Whitmore says. And even once you’ve worked out where you actually live, that’s not the end of the matter. “If you are in the UK for 183 days or more per year then you are classed as resident for tax purposes, but there are also many other situations which can mean that someone becomes resident. For example, there are people who make regular visits to the UK or people who normally live in the UK, but in fact are rarely in the country because of their employment, such as long-distance lorry drivers. These are not high net-worth individuals flitting between luxury homes all over the world, but they are still subject to the same, complicated, tax and residency rules. And as such can often benefit from some advice to make sure they are not falling foul of tax rules in the UK or abroad,” Whitmore suggests. In a manner similar to criminal investigators, the long arm of the taxman extends across borders so there is no
escape. “Tax offices do exchange information, so you can’t avoid paying tax by simply moving or having a secret bank account in another country,” Whitmore says. However the good news is that if you do get some tailored advice, you can end up saving money by prudent planning and making any cross-border transactions or asset movements in the most efficient manner. Whitmore cautions: “The UK tax laws can be so complex that even high-flyers can’t anticipate all the issues, particularly if they are resident but not domiciled – which are not necessarily the same thing – in the UK. People whose origin is not the UK, such as Scandinavians now working in London, are unlikely to be domiciled here. Often our advice can come down to where it is most tax efficient to retain assets and cash. If, for example, you are buying something, how you transact the payment can be very important. Money that is transferred via a UK bank account or law firm can easily become taxable, even if it’s only ‘passing through’.” So, while no-one likes paying it, getting the right advice means the pain of tax can at least be kept to a minimum.
A Swede by birth, Helena Whitmore is director of tax at Grundberg Mocatta Rakison based in London. She has been with the firm since 1990, and an associate of the Chartered Institute of Taxation since 2002. She will be writing regularly for Scan Magazine, and over the coming months will examine issues relating to setting up business in the UK, relevant tax laws, how to deal with property purchases and inheritance matters.
Issue 2 | September 2008 | 31
Scan Business | Sustainable Business
We Gotta Do Something! â€“ Interview with Niels Eirik Nertun from Scandinavian Airlines By Rikke Bruntse-Dahl
In the fight against climate change, commercial aviation is often seen as the number one villain. But for most Scandinavians, who live in the UK or come here on business, not flying is unrealistic. We talk to Niels Eirik Nertun, Environmental Director at SAS, about combining flying and sustainability and what SAS does to do its bit for the environment. For most people flying and sustainability don't go hand in hand. What is your opinion of that? Most human activities which include energy are a burden to the environment, so aviation is not special in that regard. For the moment, aviation accounts for 2-3% of man-made climate change gases and it is fair to say that yes, we pollute today and yes, we'll pollute tomorrow; but I think it's also important to take into account the huge
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benefits aviation brings to modern society. With Brussels being on average two hours flight from other European capitals, we couldn't have a European community without aviation. Also, with 60% of CO2 emissions being unrelated to transport, I think we need to take a holistic approach and look at all the other things we can do to minimise our impact on the environment, such as insulating our houses and using electricity in more efficient ways. So far, what has SAS done to be a more sustainable company? We have introduced an environmental efficiency index, where, among other things, we calculate our CO2 emissions. We've continuously lowered our index year after year. But we have recognised that's not enough.
â€œWith Brussels being on average two hours flight from other European capitals, we couldn't have a European community without aviation.â€?
Solicitors and International Lawyers
Niels Eirik Nertun
Therefore we've also introduced a carbon offsetting scheme for our customers using a UK offsetting company, Carbon Neutral, which we also use ourselves for our duty travels. In fact, we are promoting environmental efficiency throughout the company. For example, all our 50 staff cars in SAS Sweden run on alternative fuels and we also look at reducing waste, the use of chemicals and so on. Is it true that SAS aims to fly with zero emissions by 2050? And how on earth could that be possible? Yes, that's our goal. In order to achieve it, three major things have to happen before 2020, when we aim to have reduced our emissions by 20%. Firstly, we need more efficient engine technology, which will probably happen around 2015. Secondly, we need better air traffic management -- for example by flying the straightest routes and minimising holding -- which could reduce our emissions by 10%. Thirdly, we absolutely believe in using alternative fuels, which are likely to be second generation biofuels like algae. We are already working with two Swedish companies to develop these fuels. If we can make all this happen, it is possible we'll be able to fly with zero emissions by 2050.
Solicitors and International Lawyers
If you were to give us one piece of advice on what we can do to reduce our negative impact on the environment when we fly to and from Scandinavia, what would it be? Use our carbon calculator on www.sas.com and offset your journeys.
â€œWe Gotta Do Something!â€œ will be a regular feature in Scan Magazine. It gives Scandinavian companies the opportunity to tell about initiatives they take to conduct business in an environmentally sustainable way. Are you doing something? Email email@example.com
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