October - Responsibility is the key

Having social responsibility in society is essential for a more sustainable future. Not to focus on profit, but on employee well-being. Bornholms Mosteri A/S is a Danish-owned company that focuses on the local community, especially through initiatives for socially marginalised people. This month we focus on their inspiring story.

Photos: Anders Beier

From the outside, Bornholms Mosteri probably looks like a fish factory, located in the back area of Rønne harbor. That is exactly what it used to be, but when the herring disappeared it became the end of the fish factory and the start of Bornholms Mosteri.

Bornholms Mosteri was originally established as a municipal employment project in 2006 by two enterprising social workers, where apples from an old apple orchard were turned into cider and apple juice by the hands of socially marginalised people who had difficulty functioning in an ordinary job.

“The idea for Bornholms Mosteri was established in a Bornholm apple orchard,
where for decades old apple varieties had reaped sunlight and strength in the raw climate and thus tasted insanely good. Why not squeeze the good apples into juice?”

NICOLAI NØRREGAARD
- HEAD CHEF AND OWNER OF KADEAU

This was the beginning of their success story. As the project and the products became more and more established in the market in 2010 the name was changed to Bornholms Mosteri and in 2013 the company reached a size where it could no longer be run under municipal auspices and was therefore privatized by two Bornholm companies - the Michelin restaurant Kadeau and the fishing company Espersen. The company was operated from here commercially, but the social responsibility was maintained, and as part of the deal with Bornholm's Regional Municipality, the company pledged that a minimum of 50 percent of the employees would be socially marginalised people.

At Bornholms Mosteri, organic juices are made from natural berries, fruits, and flowers. They make an effort to preserve the natural taste of the ingredients and the distinctiveness of the seasons. Today, more than 1.2 million bottles are produced annually. Their regular product line consists of 11 flavours and their dream is to become self-sufficient in Bornholm ingredients.

Bornholms Mosteri takes responsibility - for their employees, the quality of the product, nature and for the local community.

“Social responsibility for our employees goes hand in hand with a high product quality
and a respect for the original taste of the raw materials.
Without the high quality and focus on good taste, we have no sales, and without our hardworking and happy employees, we have no products to sell.”

MORTEN KOLIND
- CEO OF BORNHOLMS MOSTERI

They have over 20 employees. Since privatization in 2013, the proportion of mentally marginalised people has been between 70 and 80 percent. The goal is for them to enable these workers to have a meaningful everyday life and become a resource for society, to the extent that they can cope with. Bornholms Mosteri emphasizes that the employees provide what they can, based on the motto that "no one knows everything, but everyone knows something".

Bornholms Mosteri has also been hit hard by the Corona crisis, where approx. 85% of the turnover was lost during the 3-months lock-down of Denmark, but Bornholms Mosteri has survived and continues their meaningful work, where the responsibility is the key.

Find more information about Bornholms Mosteri here.