Nofima appoints president and director of Seafood
The Norwegian food research institute Nofima has elected a new president, Thomas Farstad. Nofima also announced the appointment of Bård-Thomas Østvang as Director of the Seafood Division.
Thomas Farstad succeeds longtime Chairman Olav Fjell as the new Chairman of the Board. Farstad, who was elected at the Nofima AGM on Thursday June 9 for a two-year term, has extensive experience in aquaculture and fisheries. Until 2010 he held several key positions at Mowi and worked on fish farming and other businesses in Norway, Canada, Scotland, Ireland and Asia. He ran 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 was also chairman of the Norwegian Fisheries and Aquaculture Industry Research Fund (FHF) for four years, and he was a board member of Nofima for two years.
He said: “Nofima is crucial for food production from sea and land, in Norway and abroad. I look forward to working with the Board of Directors and the management team. Going forward, Nofima will continue to be a leading provider of knowledge and research related to sustainable food in national and global food systems.
The AGM elected Eirik Selmer-Olsen as vice-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 from August 1, succeeds Magnar Pedersen, who will retire this autumn. Seafood is one of Nofima’s three divisions, 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 CEO of Norwegian Fish Company at the time of its acquisition by Aalesundfisk Holding.
Nofima CEO Øyvind Fylling-Jensen said: “I am very happy to have Bård-Thomas on the Nofima team. He has a good knowledge of the industry and is therefore well equipped to determine how we, as a research institute, can best put our knowledge to use to strengthen the competitiveness of the industry.
Bård-Thomas is from Skjervøy and holds a Masters in Business Administration from the Norwegian School of Economics. He also studied, among other things, market expertise and political science. For much of his working life, Østvang worked for consultancy firm PWC before joining the fishing industry in 2017.