Food Days Seinäjoki – connecting innovations, businesses and people


Elina Koivisto

Development Manager, Into Seinäjoki Ltd

The sustainable regeneration of the food ecosystem is one of the main strategic goals for the entire RDI ecosystem in South Ostrobothnia. The goal is to foster and create new innovations for the development of sustainable, traceable, safe and high value agri-food chain from field to fork. The ecosystem-based innovation activities is a natural way of working for us; it brings together different actors and steer the development work in a more business-oriented direction.

Food Days was launched this year to provide inspiration for researchers, developers and start-ups alike. During the Food Days event week (4-8 September) the spotlight was on the strong food expertise of the region, food chain development and fruitful encounters around the food theme of the future. The whole food related RDI sector in the region had the possibility to organize its own event, under this joint brand. The aim was to invite especially our international networks to join these events, and ultimately to promote collaborative project development that can benefit the entire agri-food sector in Europe.

Into arranged “Innovative Food Business” 6.9.2023 event during Food Days, which offered insights to world class food innovations, examples on how the RDI sector collaborates with the region’s companies to foster health, and great examples on how we combat climate change. I will now give a short overview by a few examples of our event’s content:

  • Honkajoki Ltd is Finland’s leading processor of animal by-products. The company manufactures and refines animal by-products into high-quality, clean and safe raw materials for our customers in various industrial sectors. As a Finnish company, they comply with the world’s highest production standards using data as highest. They can ensure that all their products are 100 % pure and that environmental resources are being used as sustainably as possible.
  • Seinäjoki University of Applied Sciences and University of Vaasa demonstrated how they were able to reduce food waste by combining data and automation to machine learning. One of their great results was from Lapua secondary school to reduce food waste by 46%, which accounts financial savings of approximately 2000€ per month.
  • Cooperation with Wageningen University and the Natural Institute of Finland among “ClearFarm” -project resulted that digitalizing sustainability management in farming and controlling animal welfare index based on sensor data brings added value to consumers, when utilizing this data on labelling.
  • World famous gin and whiskey producer Kyrö Distillery Ltd explained how they gained their position in the market by using data and extensive research to understand the market and customers, and explained how important is constantly to review and evaluate based on information.

Since the region’s RDI sector collaborates closely with the companies, two business tours were arranged in the afternoon. Sustainable and responsible food chain showcasing the Finnish food chain from the farm all the way to the store shelf. During the tour, we got an opportunity to visit a farm specialised in pork production and one of Northern Europe's leading food companies Atria Ltd. The other tour introduced how a greenhouse farmer has developed a new carousel method and a technological solution to make farming more efficient. We visited a Foodwest Ltd which is specialised in a development of food industry with unique services. Finally, we got a chance to visit the food laboratories of Seinäjoki University of Applied Sciences where innovations are carefully created and refined.

Food Days continued with Ruralia Institute’s (University of Helsinki) event where e.g. Jan Ameri, chairman of the board of the Arctic 15 start-up event, Nima Sophia Tisdall, a Danish member of the developers of the Blue Lobster app, and the great advocate of failures, Dutch innovation professor Paul Iske gave very inspirational presentations of their actions to boost innovations and business.

Developing a sustainable and safe agri-food value chain is a real opportunity, not only for Finland but also for the whole of Europe. With these networking events, we can foster the collaboration and expertise to support all innovative projects emerging among public and private sectors. South Ostrobothnia is honoured to be part of the Traceability and Big Data S3 Partnership to work together towards this topic, and with that note, I would like to warmly welcome you all next year to Food Days in Seinäjoki, Finland!

Key facts:

  • There are more than 100 food development projects currently active in the Seinäjoki region.
  • Seinäjoki is the best place in Finland to companies; this is demonstrated by 14 number one positions achieved over the years, in various corporate surveys.

Additional information

Food Days was arranged as a part of the “Innovation Ecosystem Activation”- project (ERDF) that is coordinated by Into Seinäjoki Ltd and is funded by the European Commission and the city of Seinäjoki.

For more information:

Food Days webpage

Into Seinäjoki webpage