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Food and sustainability: local and organic food in Finnish food policy and in institutional kitchens

Risku-Norja, Helmi and Muukka, Eija (2013) Food and sustainability: local and organic food in Finnish food policy and in institutional kitchens. Acta Agriculturae Scandinavica, Section B - Soil & Plant Science, 63 (1), pp. 8-18.

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Online at: http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/09064710.2013.771701

Summary

This article probes a number of recent national policy documents in order to capture how sustainability is perceived and expressed in the context of food and what role is given to the alternative food supplies. The goals of food policy and their realization are discussed by reflecting the results from the policy document analysis against the actual use of alternative food in the statutory municipal catering services in Finland. In the policy documents the concept of sustainable development has remained rather abstract; various dimensions such as food security, affordability and access to food, cultural and health aspects are mentioned, but these are not necessarily identified as elements of sustainability. Local and organic foods appear as important items in food sustainability. However, in the documents they are usually not differentiated from each other, and positioning of local food in relation to domestic and regional food is not clear. The municipal caterers instead, identify organic as distinct from local and they are interested in locally produced staple food products, but the (labeled) local specialities -locality food - are not relevant within the public catering services. Use of organic food is also marginal. Defining sustainability in the context of food is a prerequisite for coherent food policy. The development needs and possibilities are different in different municipalities, and the same approach cannot be offered to all, but the problems need to be addressed in the concrete situations. With the small population basis and long distances, it is worthwhile to aim at solutions relying on local resources. Food strategy should be included as part of the comprehensive municipal development strategies. It is important to involve practical actors in developing the food sector and in formulating quantitative goals.


EPrint Type:Journal paper
Keywords:policy documents food policy sustainable food local food organic food municipal catering services
Subjects:"Organics" in general > Countries and regions > Finland
"Organics" in general > Countries and regions
Research affiliation: European Union > CORE Organic II > HealthyGrowth
European Union > CORE Organic II
International Organizations > Nordic Council
Deposited By: Risku-Norja, Dr Helmi
ID Code:27685
Deposited On:03 Nov 2014 12:57
Last Modified:03 Nov 2014 12:58
Document Language:English
Status:Published
Refereed:Peer-reviewed and accepted

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