The mink industry has been particularly exposed to threats and harassment from animal rights activists. This is something that Jörgen Martinsson is well aware of after being CEO of the trade organization Svensk Mink between 2006 and 2011. Despite this, he did not hesitate when he was asked to return to the post.
- I have the nutrition in my blood, so that was a pretty simple decision. Of course, I know that this is a vulnerable position, but I do not focus so much on it, but make sure that I work for the Swedish mink farmers and that their business should go as well as possible.
When Jörgen Martinsson retired as CEO of Svensk Mink in 2011, there were 75 mink farms in Sweden, which annually raised around one million mink. When he re-enters the post, there are only 50 farms left, and the number of minks is down to 650,000.
- It's a changed industry. If you look at the world market, it peaked a few years ago and now it has gone down. But it always comes back and I am convinced that the mink industry will live in Sweden in 50 years.
In Sweden today there are 50 mink farms that breed around 650,000 mink annually. Most are on Listerlandet in Sölvesborg, but also in the areas around Skaraborg. Photo: SVT "Don't listen to animal rights activists"
The representative at the post, Johan Dalén, quit this spring for other assignments. During his time as CEO, he got, among other things, the car, the house and the mailbox vandalized by animal rights activists - something he has not wanted to comment on in the media.
- It is a reality we live in. There are a number of people who do not respect the democratic rules of the game, but resort to illegal methods. But you should not overdo it or overdo it, says Jörgen Martinsson.
Apart from their methods, how do you view the criticism?
- We should always accept criticism, but then we do it from people and authorities who have experience and knowledge of the industry. Not from animal rights activists. We conduct our dialogue with authorities, trained staff, animal welfare inspectors and veterinarians.
Is the mink industry an unethical industry?
- No absolutely not.