25. April 2022

60th Anniversary of Kavli Trust: 60 years working for good causes

On April 25, 2022, it was 60 years since Knut Kavli founded Kavli Trust and made the foundation the owner of the Kavli Group.

“Today we pay tribute to our founders, Olav Kavli and his son Knut Kavli, and their exemplary, inspiring desire to make a difference for others,” says General Manager of Kavli Trust, Inger Elise Iversen.

In it’s 60th year, Kavli Trust allocates more funding than ever: around NOK 100 million a year to good causes.

“We believe that both father and son Kavli would have been extremely proud,” says Iversen.

Norwegian industrial adventure

The story behind Kavli Trust is a unique industrial adventure involving big dreams, innovation, international expansion and not least, a burning desire to give something back to society.

“It really is a story worth sharing,” she says.

FOUNDER: Olav Kavli

Read the whole story about Olav Kavli: The father of spreadable cheese

Both father and son Kavli had a reputation for being generous and socially engaged, and they often donated money to good causes. They also wanted to ensure Kavli a responsible, long-term ownership.

Knut and his wife Karin Kavli had no children. Therefore, Knut eventually chose to establish Kavli Trust, and make the charitable foundation the sole owner of Kavli.

In the statutes he stated that the purpose of Kavli Trust is to promote humanitarian causes, research and culture.
“Knut Kavli hence ensured long-term, Norwegian ownership, and that the profits from Kavli should benefit society,” says Inger Elise Iversen.

Distributes NOK 100 million a year

In the first decades, the allocations were relatively modest, and mostly focused on art and culture.

Good results in the Kavli Group have meant that profits and thus allocations have increased significantly, especially in the last decade:

Since 2012, Kavli Trust has distributed a total of NOK 745 million (as of 1 January 2022).
In total, the foundation has distributed NOK 1.1 billion since it was established in 1962.

“According to current estimates, we will be able to distribute a new NOK 100 million during the anniversary year,” says Inger Elise Iversen.

Mental health for children and adolescents

Prioritised areas for allocations are mental health for children and adolescents, and climate and environment solutions.

“With the amounts we have at our disposal, we can make a real difference in important areas of society. The allocation strategy is regularly revised by the Kavli Trust board, which ensures that the funds are managed as efficiently as possible and contributes to solving current and relevant societal challenges,” says Inger Elise Iversen.

The overall goal is to make a positive difference in the lives of individuals, local communities and the larger community.

GENERAL MANAGER: Inger Elise Iversen. Photo: Anne Elisabeth Næss

The employees create the values

The Kavli Group currently has companies in Norway, Sweden, the United Kingdom and Finland, with a total of just over 900 employees.

“It is our employees who create the profits ​​that we can distribute to good causes. Kavli Trust would like to thank everyone who has worked in Kavli’s companies for their efforts for good causes during these 60 years,” says Iversen.

The companies of the Kavli group today: Kavli Norway Q-Meieriene Kavli Sweden Kavli Finland Primula Cheese Castle MacLellan

CREATING VALUES: Sharon Varty and the other employees of Kavli companies are all creating values for good causes every day at work. Photo: Primula Cheese/Kavli UK

Thanks to the customers

“We also wish to thank everyone who has bought Kavli products during these 60 years. Every time someone chooses a product from Kavli, Q-Meieriene and Primula Cheese, they play a small part. We see a steadily growing customer base, which makes us very happy,” says Iversen.

CREATING VALUES: Dora Amaral, employee at Primula Cheese factory in Gateshead, Newcastle. 

CREATING VALUES: Alan Jenkins and Peter Rutherford are both employees at Primula Cheese factory in Gateshead, Newcastle.                  


  • Kavli Trust was established on 25 April 1962 under the name O. Kavli and Knut Kavli Charitable Trust
  • Kavli Trust is the sole owner of the Kavli Group in that the foundation owns 100 per cent of the shares in Kavli Holding AS.
  • Information about Kavli Trust’s work and the causes that have received funding can be found in Kavli Trust’s annual reports. The annual report for 2021 will be launched in May 2022
  • Kavli Trust also shares news about projects that receive funding on its Norwegian, English and Swedish websites, and on social media (Norwegian accounts).
FREE HOLIDAY ACTIVITIES: Since 2016, Kavli Trust has supported FeriePULSE, the Norwegian Marching Band Association’s free holiday activities for children and young people, most recently through an allocation of NOK 1 million in 2019. The photo is from the spring of 2018, when participants in FeriePULSE performed at the association’s anniversary concert at the Oslo Opera House. Photo: Hanne Eide Andersen / Kavli Trust