Where is Kautokeino?
Kautokeno is located in Finnmark, the northernmost area of Norway, approx. 280 km north of the Arctic Circle and 120 km south of the Arctic coast between the borders with Finland, Sweden and Russia. As the crow flies, it is approx. 2,000 km from Hamburg and approx. 2,350 km by road - roughly the same distance as Athens or Istanbul.
The next airfields are in Alta (approx. 120 km north) and in Tromsø¶ (approx. 405 road kilometers north-west).
Alta is also the port of call for the Hurtigrouten, which connects almost all cities on the west coast from Bergen in the south to Kirkenes on the Russian Genze in the north.
Kautokino is a real center of the Sami people and one of the few places where Sami is spoken as part of everyday usage, whether in the shop, at the gas station or in the restaurant.
The reindeer winter grazing areas are in the highlands around Kautokeino. When they see the summer pastures on the Arctic Coast and the offshore
Leaving islands, move here around mid / end of September. Once there, they are registered, selected and some selected ones are slaughtered for the purpose of fur and meat. There is only a few weeks left for this - until the rut and the cycle of life begins again.
Are reindeer wild?
There are a few herds living in the wild, around 5,000 in southern Norway on Hardangervidda. These animals live free and wild - but they are no longer used for meat, hide and leather production.
The largest herds in Northern Norway live free and largely without fences and still move to the sea in summer and to the tundra of the hinterland in winter, but they are constantly guarded by the Samers.
The Norwegians themselves coined the term "Tamvilt" for this, which literally means "tame game". Even if the Norwegian reindeer, unlike those in other Scandinavian countries, are not tame in the real sense, this term aptly describes the species.
Does the marketing of reindeer meat damage the population?
No, it tends to promote it. In Norway only the Samers have the right to keep and use reindeer. This means that use and dissemination outside the Sami control is excluded.
On the other hand: only about 5% of the Samers are reindeer herders. So it can be said that reindeer are no longer the sole basis for the economic existence of the Sami people. Due to this lack of economic necessity, the reindeer herds are increasingly becoming status symbols.
Without the marketing of reindeer meat, sausage and ham and of fur, the latter especially on site to tourists, this would lead to the effect of ever larger herds and ultimately to the risk of overgrazing of the vidda, as the tundra is called here .
What makes products made from Norwegian reindeer so valuable?
Norwegian reindeer live in free, almost untouched nature. They are neither on laid-out pastures nor in forests rich in food, as there is hardly any tree vegetation up here in the tundra. Their diet consists of herbs, mosses and heather, which you can find naturally here.
This also applies to winter. Even under deep snow, reindeer can expose the mosses and herbs below with their razor-sharp hooves.
In spring they move from the hinterland of the tundra to the coast of the Arctic Ocean, where their summer pastures await on the nearby islands. They are guarded by the Samer not only on their trek, but also on the pastures. Sometime in September, an unknown force determined the start of the approx. 3-week journey back into the highlands to the winter pastures.
Arrived there, they are identified, counted and selected. The short slaughter period, which lasts only 3 to 4 weeks, lies only in the time between arrival in the mountains and the rut. Only within this short period of the year can the available resources and necessary capacities, such as collection gates and slaughterhouses, be used.
And - last but not least - in addition to the costly natural ties of life and resources that can only be used for a few days a year, the raw material reindeer itself is limited in terms of quantity by the exclusive right to exercise it through the seeds and their grazing grounds.
What makes ARCTICREN salami and ham so valuable?
ARCTICREN products are special because
- they contain the valuable Norwegian reindeer meat
- 80% of the salami is made from reindeer meat
- Traditional Sami and continental handicrafts are combined in recipe and taste
- they are handcrafted and carefully made
- they are mildly smoked and matured for a long time using an old method
- In this way, the mild reindeer taste is retained in the end product
- and they are manufactured where the raw material originates.
Why is salami made from 80% reindeer meat?