South Ostrobothnia is the most specialised region in Finland in the agrifood sector – in both primary production and food processing. There are about 190,000 inhabitants in the region with about 15% of the jobs in agrifood. There are ca 5,000 farms of which 33% are for crops and the rest for animal husbandry; most of them dairy farms.
On national level most of the pork and poultry production in Finland is in South Ostrobothnia. There are around one humdred food processing companies in the region, majority of them micro businesses and SMEs with two large companies in dairy and meet processing with significant roles in the agrifood sector in regional and national scale.
Agrifood creates the bases for wider food system interfaces of different sectors in South Ostrobothnia, both to businesses and RDI. Its strengths are healthy primary production, exceptional level in food safety, good knowledge and competence of food systems, versatile investments, development platforms available (for wide range of users) and active national and international networks.
As expressed in the Regional Policy and the Smart Specialisation strategy, focus of development in agrifood is in news systems and solutions in agrotechnology, food safety, expert services and consumer and experience oriented products with high added value.
KERRU-group brings together researchers and developers working with the topics of Sustainable food solutions in the University Consortium of Seinäjoki, the research network Epanet and the Seinäjoki University of Applied Sciences.