The 3rd project meeting of NICHE project was held in the region of South Ostrobothnia, Finland. Meeting was located outside regions capital in the small city of Kauhajoki.
During Thursday, 31st of August, project partners had official SC meeting where they reviewed activities and outputs for the third semester. Also action plans were closely discussed. During the afternoon partners attended local seminar “Production and processing operations in Food sector in South Ostrobothnia”. After the seminar partners got to attend a study visit at Forsfood which is a local company whose main focus is equipment for processing of leafy products, fresh vegetables and root crops. They showcased a large variety of peeling, profiling and sorting and hygiene equipment.
On Friday 1st of Septermber, partners got to see several study visit locations; Linseed, Ruokamessut -food fair, Pirjon Pakari and Kauhajoen Puutarha. Locations were chosen after receiving feedback from the project partners.
Linseed produces roasted flaxseed products. The gentle roasting provides three benefits; it improves microbiological properties of flax, enhances flavour (the bitterness of flaxseed disappears and the flavour becomes crunchy and delicious) and the shelf life of the product doubles naturally. One tablespoon of Linseed FlaxseedFields© flaxseed contains twice as much omega-3, as one fish oil capsule and is completely plant based. Company currently exports to Germany through “Food from Finland” concept which allows several small companies join forces on their export attempts.
Ruokamessut is a fair with around 13.000 visitors yearly. It is held during the first weekend of September. This year it was the 27th time organized. Lead partner Daniela Copaci attended the official opening of the fair as a speaker and gave greetings from the NICHE project consortium.
Pirjon Pakari is bakery with five factories in the western part of Finland out of which two are located in the region of South Ostrobothnia. One is located in Seinäjoki and the other one, which partners visited, in Kauhajoki. Factory in Kauhajoki makes only gluten free products. Company has around 10 M € turnover out of which gluten free products counts almost half nowadays and the percentage is growing.
Kauhajoen Puutarha is a garden which producers lettuce and tomatoes. It has around 15 employees and has 1,9 hectares of cultivation. They use mostly biological deterrents. It takes around five weeks for lettuce to reach shops shelves from planting.
The official project meeting ended after the last study visit to Kauhajoen Puutarha. City of Kauhajoki also invited project partners to attend their cocktail event related to the food fair.