Friðheimar is very much a family affair, run by Knútur Rafn Ármann and his wife Helena Hermundardóttir. He is an agronomist from Hólar University College in north Iceland, while she is a horticulturalist from Reykir Horticultural College. Their five children, Dóróthea, Karítas, Matthías Jens, Arnaldur and Tómas Ingi, all play an active part in the family business.
At Friðheimar, we grow tomatoes all year round, despite Iceland’s long, dark winters, under artificial lighting in greenhouses. We welcome visitors to see our greenhouses, and then enjoy a taste of the crop. And now they can take delicious food souvenirs away with them, made of our tomatoes and cucumbers. We also breed horses, and put on a horse show – in fourteen different languages.
In 1995 Knútur and Helena bought Friðheimar, with the aim of combining their different areas of expertise – horses and horticulture. The farm already had two greenhouses, and a large house stood unoccupied. Horticulture using natural hot water had commenced at Friðheimar in 1946. Several years have now passed since Knútur and Helena started developing and expanding the operations, and today the place hums with life – as these are enterprising people! The process of development at Friðheimar can be divided into three stages:
In 1995-2001 they built a 1,174 m² greenhouse. They continued running the farm as before, and renovated existing buildings to use them in horticulture. During the early years, they settled in and laid their plans for the future.
In 2002-2006 they decided to start growing tomatoes all year round, installed lighting in the older buildings, and built a new 1,000 m² greenhouse with a complete lighting system. At that time they were also adding to their knowledge and expertise, for instance making frequent visits to Finland, where they benefited from collaboration with Finnish experts. Horticulture under artificial lighting is highly advanced in Finland.
In 2007-2013 they built up the equestrian centre and tourist services at Friðheimar. A stable for 20 horses was built, with reception facilities, as well as an outdoor arena with a stand for 120 spectators. A horse show for tourists was launched, and shortly after that greenhouse visits began.
In 2011 the crop-growing space was enlarged by 60%, and visitor facilities opened in the Atrium in the greenhouses.
In 2012-2013 a range of food products/souvenirs was developed, made of tomato and cucumber.
Did you know that crops at Friðheimar yield an average of a ton a day? The annual harvest is 370 tons!
The direction of Fridheimar is to ensure that our produce and services continue to fulfil the expectations of our customers, with the same quality standards being maintained into the future as the business grows. Maintaining good connections with our customers and fellow growers into the future is also of key importance. We use a quality system based on ‘Vakinn’ (described later) and the ‘quality handbook of horticulture’. All our employees participate in continuously improving this quality system so that it can facilitate us in the best way possible in regards to providing high quality produce and services.
As we all know companies have a major impact on their surroundings and community with their activities. Our company is no exception and that is why Friðheimar wants to offer an environmentally and socially responsible service for our guests. We want to set a good example for our colleagues within the tourism industry by taking responsibility and help making our business as sustainable as possible.
For this occasion Friðheimar has signed a memorandum of understanding about responsible tourism which Íslenski Ferðaklasinn and FESTA (center about CSR) are responsible for. Also, Friðheimar now has the certification from Vakinn, which is the quality and environmental service for the tourism industry.
You can find our goals here
Friðheimar is a multicultural team of outstanding staff.
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