As part of interaction with the society, Dele Raheem recently attended the Finnish Lapland’s food program that was launched on 19th May, 2017 at the Multidimensional Tourism Institute, Rovaniemi. The launch was preceded by four workshops from 10th November 2016 to 8th May, 2017. The vision set forward by the program is scheduled to take effect from 2025, there will be interactive and collaborative possibilities to realize the vision of the program. The research aspect will involve LUKE, University of Helsinki, and the Arctic Centre / University of Lapland.
The program main area of interest are on the food products that are produced in the Lapland region and how they can be processed within the region through value addition that will create jobs for the local inhabitants. The food products are divided into several sections: Milk and dairy products, Meat and meat products (reindeer, beef, sheep), Vegetables (potatoes, onions) Outdoor garden vegetables (carrots, turnips, cabbage), Natural and herb products. Other important features of the program are the “Food Club concept” where processing, storage, logistics and sales of these products can interact under one umbrella and the use of digital technology as a tool that will improve e-business and take advantage of the social media.
An Abstract of the program in English: “In the villages of Lapland, the food purchases cause capital outflow of millions of euros. The vision of Lapland’s food programme is to reach self-sufficiency of 30 % in the selected foods. The vision includes the raw material production and refining of foods that are suitable for the Lapland’s climate circumstances. The execution of the vision means that 1300 people will employ themselves on the food sector, which will create 132 million euros of new income to the region. In this way, we can shift towards sustainable structural change of countryside and see the potential in the future. The main message of Lapland’s food programme is how it is possible to create more entrepreneurship in food sector, support its profitability and that way improve the vitality of the rural countryside. The programme also presents the actions that increase the profitability of food sector through the efficient use of local food and natural products in Lapland. The programme also describes how to build new business and income models in Lapland. Development organisations behind the programme want to support the micro and small enterprises and actors in the existing industry in Lapland. There have been more than 70 persons involved in the writing of this programme. About 17 different organisations, few companies and private persons have been represented in the process. The programme has been done in the regularly organised workshops that have been divided into different themes like present state analysis, Lapland’s food industry SWOT analysis and the needed actions. Programme’s vision, 10 energy self-sufficient villages or residential centres in Lapland by the year 2025 has been created in the theme group. One important aspect in the execution of this programme is the implementation phase. In the implementation of this programme, very important thing is the role of communication. By communicating about the programme, the vision and profitable actions and by challenging different actors to think about the food production from new perspectives we can create change. Only through the change can we achieve the vision meaning that Lapland shifts from centralized energy production to sustainable, decentralized energy solutions that support Lapland’s vitality in the future by creating new jobs and stopping the capital outflow from the area”.
Full details of the program (in Finnish) available at: https://issuu.com/lapinliitto/docs/elintarvikeohjelmaa4