Seinäjoki is one of the top growth centers in Finland and the center of the province of Southern Ostrobothnia, which is growing and developing rapidly. There are already more than 60,000 inhabitants and 140,000 inhabitants in the urban area. As the center of Finland’s sixth largest market area, the city also offers very competitive and attractive trade services. The dynamic and developing Seinäjoki offers for companies a competitive business environment.
There is a high concentration of food business companies and a strong network of researchers and developers in the Seinäjoki area. There is a sizeable food system skill cluster in South Ostrobothnia, which includes top companies from different system segments. Strong primary production and active investment in industrial production forms the bases for our food business. Significant investment in the innovation environment and a wide co-operation network, development platforms and genuine user networks brings added value for the whole sustainable food system.
The Healthy Kids of Seinäjoki operating model has been developed over the years, nutrition as a starting point. The concept includes well-being and health promotion perspective, targeting children, young people and families with children. Decision makers are involved in the development of the model, professionals in various fields, as well as training, research, representatives of the third sector and companies. Healthy Kids of Seinäjoki aim is also to develop the city as a living environment that supports children and families holistically.
Food Business in Seinäjoki
There is a high concentration of food business companies and a strong network of researchers and developers in the Seinäjoki area. Effect on the regional GDP is relatively higher than elsewhere in Finland:
agriculture and food industry together, comprises 15 % (Finland average 9 %) of the total GDP of the region. 20 % of Finnish food industry is located in South Ostrobothnia when measured by turnover. Almost 30 % of Finnish agrotechnology companies and food sector machine construction is located in South Ostrobothnia. Area’s specialication is in product R & D services, research facilities and equipment,
development and testing platforms, user networks and business support services.
In this project we want to achieve strong cooperation for knowledge sharing for good practises, and mutual learning and inspriration about the challenges of the food system transformation and the way other cities in Europe are facing this challenge.
The Seinäjoki pilot
The Seinäjoki pilot implements themes; nutrition for a sustainable and healthy diet and community innovation and empowerment. The pilot is linked to the Healthy Kids of Seinäjoki concept, where the activities aim to promote the health and well-being of children and young people.
In the framework of Cities2030 we will continue to expand the Healthy Kids of Seinäjoki living lab that connects different stakeholders. Our aim is to develop and enforce principles of engagement children, but also public actors and the private sector actors that produce food and beverages, to identify the incentives and disincentives that encourage actors across food supply chains and food environments to protect, promote and support healthy diets for children and adolescents. Also to research priorities and information gaps related to what children and adolescents eat and prefer, how they make their food choices, in addition to documenting better practices and lessons learned promoted by children themselves.
Nutrition for a sustainable and healthy diet:
- Living Lab Restaurant
- Healthy Snack Box
- Food Business Club
- Educational workshops
Community innovation and empowerment:
- Community supported agriculture / school gardens
- Reducing the environmental impact of food, waste management
- Innovative public procurement
- New business models