Charlotte: "Replace the sustainability clichés with concrete solutions."

Charlotte Aarrestad (35) is poring over some spreadsheets when we first encounter her. Right now, the challenge is to ensure that “the biomass is correctly valued on the balance sheet". But she is happy to take a break to tell us why she applied for a job in Andfjord Salmon and about how happy she was when CFO Bjarne Martinsen rang and told her that she had secured her dream job.

The Harstad native was working as a controller in the Home Guard when she spotted a vacancy for the same position in Andfjord Salmon. 

"I thought, 'wow'. That is something I want to be a part of! Here, I can get interesting professional challenges in an exciting industry. The company is a pioneer that is working to develop brand new technology for sustainable land-based aquaculture. It was very close to my heart," she says. 

Young management, dynamic environment

One of the things Charlotte noticed was that Andfjord Salmon has a young management team with major ambitions.

"I was happy in the Home Guard, but they think rather defensively, naturally enough," she says with a smile. 

"Andfjord Salmon, on the other hand, is very much on the offensive. The goal is to build the world's most environmentally and fish-friendly facility for salmon farming. So I was thrilled when my new boss Bjarne phoned and said that I had gotten the job."

Charlotte has not regretted her move for a second. She was welcomed warmly and has fit seamlessly into a strong corporate culture with generous, friendly, and dedicated colleagues. A dedication with which Charlotte is also well equipped. 

Concrete solutions

"I'm not sure that I dare to say this out loud, but I don't really like the word 'sustainability'. It has become a cliché that people use indiscriminately. However, here, everyone is genuinely concerned with fish welfare and the environment and we are working to develop concrete solutions to major issues," she says with satisfaction.

Charlotte finds it exciting to be involved from the start in a company that is positioning itself for the future. After the first smolt was released in June, she is certain that the innovative solutions are, quite literally, working swimmingly.

The first pool was dug 20 metres below sea level. Patented technology provides a regular flow of crystal clear and nutrient-rich water straight from the Gulf Stream.

Lower energy costs

"We use minimal energy in bringing in the water and zero energy in cooling it as it already has the ideal temperature. Moreover, we source the water from a depth at which algae and salmon lice do not thrive, so the salmon is really happy here," she says.

As a controller, she is of course focused on costs and profitability.  

"We have far lower energy costs than ordinary land-based facilities. In addition, we have lower risk and mortality. Our salmon grows extremely well. Our concept is therefore good for both the environment and the bottom line," she says with satisfaction.

Orderly accounts 

When Charlotte was a student, she thought bookkeeping was a dull subject, but she now loves following up and controlling the accounts. Together with the CFO, she is responsible for making sure that everything is perfectly accurate.

"Having order in the accounts is extra important in a listed company. We follow strict procedures and have good systems for reporting," she says.

A true child of nature

Charlotte works a few days at Andøya or Sortland each week. Although her workdays are then long, she always makes time for a walk on the beach at Bleik or a mountain hike. She usually lives in the country near Harstad with her partner, son aged four, and daughter aged two (and a station wagon).

"We are only missing the dog," she says with a laugh. She tells us they have 25 hens traipsing around the small farm they took over from her grandmother. As a child, she spent her school holidays there helping out with the harvest, surrounded by cows and wild sheep and goats. She dreams of having more livestock and is passionate about producing food in a way that takes animal welfare seriously.

"Our hens run about freely and eat whatever they want to. It's a good life, and the food they provide tastes much better that way. It does not leave an aftertaste, in any case," she says.

Both Charlotte and her partner love the nature in Northern Norway, and want to giv their kids a good and natural upbringing.

"We grow our own vegetables and potatoes and build treehouses together," she says proudly. She adds that nature must be allowed to run its course, without too much interference by us humans.


Andfjord Salmon is a Norwegian company established in 2014. The company is listed at Oslo Stock Exchange (ANDF), and located at Kvalnes on the northernmost island of Andøya in Vesterålen, Norway.