Foodhub in the Uusimaa region
Ended project September 2017 – March 2019
Do you know who produces your food and how it is made? We piloted a new partnership model for food production and consumption: a foodhub. Food producers in the Uusimaa region joined forces to offer high-quality seasonal food directly to consumers.
What was it about?
In the existing food system, the consumer and producer are far away from each other. As a result, the producer does not always know what the consumer wants. On the other hand, the consumer has very limited chances to obtain information about production or to influence the production process.
The purpose of the was to promote Finnish foodhub operations: collective food production, new ownership models and divided consumption. The project increased the availability of sustainably produced local food, transparency of the food system and respect for food.
What was achieved?
The project tested a new model for delivering food that brings food producers and consumers together. The Uudenmaan ruoka website allows consumers to order high-quality food products and to get acquainted with producers and production methods. Through the website, people can order about 100 different local food products from the Uusimaa area. The products and volumes of products vary according to the season. The online orders are always made in advance once a week.
At the moment, there are four refrigerated self-service pick-up points: at the Herttoniemi library in Helsinki; the reuse centre Pääkaupunkiseudun kierrätyskeskus in Nihtisilta, Espoo; the premises of the company Healthbox in Töölö; and at the Herttoniemi food co-operative’s own field in Korso, Vantaa. The products can be picked up flexibly over a two-day period, depending on the schedules applied by the pick-up point in question. Currently, there are approximately 30 farms and local food producers involved in the co-operation, extending from Bromarv in the west to Pernaja in the east.
During the project, a number of restaurants in Helsinki have also been testing the food order system developed by Uudenmaan ruoka. The restaurants involved are Restaurant Perho, Clarion Hotel Helsinki Airport’s restaurant Kitchen&Table and Chapter, voted the restaurant of the year 2019. Restaurant involvement in piloting was also part of the Smart & Clean Foundation’s Urban Food project.
Who was involved?
At Sitra, the project manager was Hanna Mattila. The project was implemented by ProAgria Svenska Lantbrukssällskapens förbund rf. The other participants were Svenska lantbruksproducenternas centralförbund SLC and the Herttoniemi food co-operative.
Uudenmaan ruoka continues to develop its food hub operations aimed at offering a new way of bringing producers of high-quality food products and consumers together. The future vision is to develop longer-term contracts between producers and consumers in the spirit of agricultural partnership. Farmers knowing for whom they are producing food helps them plan their production in the long term. With the help of the contract, consumers would ensure the availability and freshness of the products in season they wish to have. This would also increase the interaction between the consumers and producers, and promote understanding of consumption and production.