Having overcome the difficult 1920s, including the stock market crash in the US and major uproar and unemployment both overseas and in Norway, the import gradually improved, with an emphasis of the sale of apples from Virginia. Gradually, we also acquired the operation of Sunkist oranges for the capital city area. Botolfsen signed import contracts with companies in Australia and South Africa and imported Jaffa oranges from Israel. At the beginning of World War 2, the import of tomatoes had started as well.
After the war, we entered new markets, such as Cyprus and Morocco and at this time, the vegetables started playing a more prominent role. Asparagus and salads from Belgium, cucumbers, tomatoes and carrots etc., from Holland and ”more luxurious” goods such as endive salad, artichokes and chilli peppers from France!
Holland would turn out to be our most important market for both fruit and vegetables. During the spring of 1957, the first truck filled with vegetables arrived from our supplier, Disselkoen, in the Netherlands. Ship freights, especially with arrivals via Newcastle with Fred. Olsen’s Bremar and Blendheim, were gradually phased out. At the end of the 60s, the truck was the thing!
The import statistics shows a very positive trend during the sixties and seventies. Our range of goods grew continuously and in addition to buying a lot on the ”intermediary market” Holland, we signed a number of agreements of direct import of, among other things, apples and other fruit from Italy, and tomatoes, oranges and cauliflower from Spain.
Bernh. In 1976, Botolfsen Import AS moved to Økern Torg after having been located in Sjøfartsbygningen (Maritime building) for 46 year! The means of transportation keeps evolving, and gradually, an increasing number of refrigerated trucks from Holland and the Mediterranean countries find their way to us with their goods.
I 1977 overtok vi agenturet AGREXCO – CARMEL.
Our selection keeps growing, and although it consists mostly of tomatoes, apples, oranges, grapes, cucumbers and broccoli, exotic fruits are gradually becoming more available. From Thailand and Malaysia, we sell litchi, pitahaya and physalis. Not too many years ago fruits as kiwi and mango were viewed as ”exotic”, but are now just as common as apples and grapes.
From the nineties up until today we have been able to import all year round, independent of agricultural production in Norway, as from 1995, the government introduced a tariff-based import protection on fruits and vegetables.
Today, Bernh. Botolfsen Import AS has two affiliate companies, Frukt-import AS and Lier Frukt og Grønt AS.