Satakunta is Finland's pantry

Text: Kreetta Haaslahti Photos: Nelly Stenroos & Luova toimisto Pilke

Satakunta is a food manufacturing region, which has excelled in vegetable farming, among other things. The amount of Satakunta-produced frozen vegetables alone is approximately 30 million kilos per year. Our region is also the main producer of Finnish turkey meat and the majority of Baltic herring caught in our country is obtained around Satakunta, in the Bothnian sea area.

Satakunta has strong traditions in food production and food chain development. We farm and grow clean and safe ingredients and turn them into ready-made products for consumers. Satakunta's strengths in the contract manufacturing of ingredients are quality and highly-developed supply chains as well as the high level of production technology in the refining industry. Contract manufacturing has been practised in our country for over 60 years.

Estimating on a national level, Satakunta is home to several leading food business operators, whose brands are known across the country.

– These companies are, for example, Sucros, Apetit, Länsi-Kalkkuna, HK Scan Finland's poultry production, Saarioinen, Mykora, Finnamyl, Lallin Lammas ja Kivikylän Kotipalvaamo, lists Marko Jori, ‎Division Manager of Food Economy at the Pyhäjärvi Institute.

Additionally, the food business chain is reinforced by a group of a couple of hundred smaller processing companies.

Satakunnassa riittää ruoan tuottajia ja jalostajia
There are plenty of food industry operators in Satakunta. In the photo: Eskimo design fibre cloth; organic oatmeal from Pörsti farming mill; Champ mushrooms from Mykora; butter, sour milk and milk from Satamaito; Eskimo parchment paper; spelt bread and rye bread from Ketunleipä; Vihreäkeiju lettuce, dill & chives from Honkatarhat; cucumber and tomatoes from Härkälän puutarha; carrots from Sunniemen kartano; rye bread, oat bread and sunflower seed bread from Ullan Pakari; ham and frankfurters from Kivikylän Kotipalvaamo; mustard from Yyterin sinappi; eggs from Satamuna.

Cultivation and poultry production

In 2014, the combined turnover of the food industry in Satakunta totalled over 674 million euros. Slaughtering and meat processing accounted for over half of the turnover. The processing of vegetables and fruit equalled just under nine percent, bakery products accounted for nearly seven percent and the share of fish processing was slightly over one percent.

– That year, the total turnover of farms located in Satakunta totalled 430 million euros, so the combined turnover in our province increased to 1.1 billion euros, Marko Jori states.

There are approximately 3,100 farms in Satakunta, of which nearly 2,700 engage in growing grains or plants. The area of fields totals over 140,000 hectares. Satakunta produces approximately 30 million kilos of frozen vegetables per year. Of this amount, carrots and potatoes hold approximately a third each and the rest comprises e.g. peas, spinach, leek, celery and parsnip.

There are just under 300 dairy cattle farms and nearly 400 farms with pigs, beef cattle or other domestic animals. The number of farms focusing on poultry or egg production amount to approximately one hundred. Over 98% of the turkey produced in Finland comes from Satakunta. The share of chicken production is half of the domestic production and the Baltic herrings caught from the Bothnian sea account for 80% of the total catch in Finland.

Satakunnassa riittää ruoan tuottajia ja jalostajia
In the photo: Eskimo parchment paper and Tivoli muffin cups, strawberry juice by Saaren luomuherkut, whipping cream by Satamaito, Mu Porini coffee from Café Solo, meringue by Annan marenkileipomo, goat milk fudge by Alajärven tila, sea buckthorn powder and sea buckthorn jam by Koivun tyrnitila and a cake by Prassen konditoria.

Vitality from local food

Local food is food that has been produced and processed using ingredients from your own province and that is marketed and consumed in your local area. Local food is plentiful and easily available in Satakunta.

– The most popular ones are certainly milk, bread, vegetables, meat products, eggs and natural fish, Jori lists.

Favouring local food is important for the province's vitality.
– By using local products we keep the local food chain strong and we will have a chance to enjoy the delicacies of our own province in the future as well.

Locally produced food is often an ecological choice but it also impacts the local economy and employment.
– The use of local food has a great impact in the regional economy. Money doesn't drain from the province and jobs are retained both at farms and in food businesses, Jori notes.