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