Geno & Norwegian Red Global Success

Time to read: ca 3 min

Steady global growth for Geno and Norwegian Red signals future progress for Norwegian farmers and the cooperative members

Dairy farmer, Turid Haga Vange
Geno's global success is achieved primarily due to the progressive and forward-thinking of Norwegian dairy farmers with their mission towards creating more sustainable and profitable farming. Photo: Torstein Kiserud

Geno, the breeding organization of Norwegian Red cattle, the main dairy breed in Norway, has been helping dairy farmers breed healthier and more robust cows in Norway and more than 30 countries worldwide. As a farmer cooperative, Geno has been conducting research and development for cattle breeding since 1935, and its global success is achieved primarily due to the progressive and forward-thinking of Norwegian dairy farmers with their mission towards creating more sustainable and profitable farming. 

Global success from innovation, matched with reliable data  

The success of Norwegian Red genetics internationally is strongly dependent on the success of Norwegian dairy farmers in breeding the best dairy cattle genetics according to the needs of international farmers. Geno’s advanced technology and solutions include REDX sexed semen, embryo, and Geno’s International breeding plan.

Compared to its global competitors, unequivocally, Geno has the advantage of having collected enormous and reliable data since the 1970s, the continuous data recording practice from the herd recording system in Norway. The accumulated data has, in recent years, aided with a substantial investment of nearly six million euros to focus on research and development projects around genetic improvements and sustainability.

The global growth outlook, 2023 and beyond

From actively anticipating the growing global demand, the generative flow of revenue has since returned to the cooperative structure of Geno in Norway, with nearly 8,000 dairy farmers as members. The revenue generated from Geno’s global sales is then aptly redirected as an investment source for the continuous research and development work that will allow Norwegian dairy farmers to sell better products locally while increasing animal welfare and profitability.

“Currently, Geno is enjoying an 80% growth from 2021 to 2022. For 2023 and beyond, our ambition is to triple our global sales and revenue growth from year to year, which means tripling the number of doses sold in the coming years together with our international distributors. This is necessary to anticipate the growing market demand and interest around crossbreeding with Norwegian Red”, expressed Lars Skramstad, Geno’s Chief Financial Officer.

Investments in sustainability projects 

Geno and Norwegian Red have already long on their way to pushing the commitments to tackle climate issues by focusing on lowering methane emissions and improving genetics to produce healthier and more sustainable dairy cattle breeds for global use. As of today, Geno has contributed to lowering greenhouse gas emissions through several significant projects and innovative solutions. With an annual cost of one million euros for the Feed Efficiency and methane project, the significant investment has also been generously supported by the research council of Innovation Norway.


Methane monitoring project to reduce global emissions. Photo: Torstein Kiserud

Geno’s current sustainability projects:

  • Efficient production
  • Few empty days from excellent fertility
  • Few sick days from good health
  • Milk and meat from the same animal
  • Methane monitoring project for cows and bulls to reduce global emissions

International distributors and various breeding systems influencing the global sales

Geno’s global sales anticipate different breeding systems in each market, which requires Geno to discern the various genetic compositions that fit each market. While in Norway, the majority of herds are with pure Norwegian Red, internationally Holstein breed is still very dominant due to its advantageous production output. 

“With our focus on growing our presence internationally through working with valuable partners, we are very proud to have seen many international farmers now enjoying the benefits of crossbreeding and Norwegian Red genetics. Farmers are achieving faster genetic gains and profitability by introducing the Norwegian Red breed into their herd due to Norwegian Red’s superior health and fertility traits”, said Kate Stai, Geno Global’s Chief Executive Officer.  

Presently, Geno is working with reputable distributors to supply its unique products and solutions in various markets. The distribution setup with local partners has allowed Geno to provide a competitive fixed price for semen, which is assessed regularly according to each market's growth and demand.  

About Geno and Norwegian Red

  • Norwegian Red is the main dairy cattle breed in Norway, developed by Geno SA.
  • Geno SA is a farmer-owned cooperative that has been breeding Norwegian Red dairy cattle since 1935.
  • Geno sells over 1 million doses of semen from elite Norwegian Red bulls each year and distributes genetic material to more than 30 countries worldwide.

Geno’s current sustainability projects:

  1. Efficient productionFew empty days from excellent fertility
  2. Few sick days from good healthMilk and meat from the same animal
  3. Methane monitoring project for cows and bulls to reduce global emissions