Printers in Norway blame politicians for printing abroad – Baltic book printers hit back

There has been a big debate in Norway over the last weeks about Norwegian politicians and publishers who choose to print their books abroad. The debate kicked off after it was known that politician Hadia Tajik chose to print her book in Lithuania. When checking other books it was clear (not surprisingly) that most of the Norwegian book production is done abroad.

“The publishers have destroyed parts of the Norwegian print industry. […] It is very sad that the publishers don’t care about local work and sustainability. Norwegian printers are ready with equipment and competence, but we are not able to compete on equal terms,” says market consultant Trond Aril Espedal at Kai Hansen Trykkeri in Stavanger.

Baltic printers hit back

The import of books from the Baltics is increasing, much thanks to the big players such as Livonia Print, Scandbook, Print Best etc.

“When listening to Espedal’s statements, it sounds like this is Africa, but it is not. We comply with EU legislation, we are following rules on working hours and we are constantly being controlled by our clients,” says Trond Erik Isaken of Livonia Print, also a Norwegian.

Scandbook CEO Håvard Grjotheim adds:

“We have many clients from Norway and Sweden, and they visit us often and they realize that we take care of our employees,” says Grjotheim.

The Norwegian publishers add that there are no rotation b/w presses left in Norway. This fact makes it less cost-effective to produce high runs in Norway.

“The printers from the Baltics have been good at selling their services towards Scandinavia and they are competitive when it comes to pricing. Everything is done in-house, and they are good at filling up their trucks to make also the transportation cost-effective,” says head of production Oddvar Fless of publisher Gyldendal.