KNI’s history

- Trading in Greenland for centuries

For almost 240 years, KNI has evolved to meet the requirements of changing times. Our unique history dates back to the establishment of the Royal Greenland Trade Department (KGH) in 1774, and we are thus an essential part of the history of Greenland.

KGH's state monopoly was ended in 1950, after which the company was operated independently of the administration by the then Ministry of Greenland (now the Government of Greenland). In the same year as the state monopoly was abolished, Polaroil became part of KGH. Many other famous Greenlandic companies have been part of KGH over the years, including Royal Arctic Line, Air Greenland, Royal Greenland and the postal service.

In 1986, ownership of KGH was transferred to Greenland Home Rule, and became KNI. KNI is an abbreviation of Kalaallit Niuerfiat, which means Greenland Trade.

The original task of KGH was to supply the people of Greenland with groceries in those areas where it was not possible to carry on business on commercial terms. This remains one of the most important tasks of KNI today, but now this part of the company’s business is operated on the basis of customer-driven requirements and local influence – a big difference to the former remote and monopolistic control.

In other words, KNI is now a company run on the basis of modern business principles. We are proud of our history, and now we are taking our almost 240 years of experience into a new era – a period during which we will adapt to the major societal and industrial challenges that Greenland faces.


KNI A/S • J.M. Jensenip Aqq. 2 • 3911 Sisimiut
T +299 86 24 44 • E