Development and cooperation projects
In 2014, Raisio participated in several development and stakeholder cooperation projects related to responsibility. Most of the projects will continue in 2015.
Me & MyCity in Southwest Finland
Raisio continued its three-year cooperation project in the Me & MyCity of Southwest Finland. In the autumn 2014, it was awarded as the world's best education innovation in the competition World Innovation Summit for Education. Me & MyCity is a learning environment dealing with entrepreneurship, economy and society. It is aimed at sixth-graders and coordinated by the Economic Information Office TAT. Me & MyCity includes premises of many companies and local authorities. Every student works for one day in a position for which he/she has been chosen through a recruitment process. Pupils are paid for their work and they spend a day as consumers and citizens, part of society. At a time, some 70 pupils work in the Me & MyCity on an agreed date.
Five students work as Raisio's employees as CEO, Product Developer, Marketing Manager, Sales Representative and Production Manager. During the day, they become familiar with the food industry, through consumer screening and product development. The students learn how to make product innovations and how sales and marketing are part of the company's operations. The product lifecycle is described from primary production to sales, and the central theme of the day is the development and launch of a new product. During the workday, Raisio employees take care of the delivery of products to be sold in shops and restaurants as well as generate ideas for a dream portion of porridge.
Elovena Power Days
Elovena Power Day is an event tour organised by Elovena and Finnish Athletics Federation (Suomen Urheiluliitto, SUL). The event brings energy and power to the school children's day. Elovena Power Day aims to communicate, through activities and games tickling children's grey cells, the importance of healthy food and happy exercising.
In 2014, a total of 30 Elovena Power Days were arranged across the country. The cooperation between SUL and Elovena Power Day started in 2007 and is continued in 2015. To celebrate Elovena's 90th anniversary, we aim to arrange a total of 50 Power Days and donate new, up-to-date sports equipment to schools. In addition, we are launching a project called Elovena Local Sports Arena. The project aims to finance and build, together with the state and municipalities, new sports fields designed by children.
New partnership agreement with Turku University of Applied Sciences
In 2014, Raisio and Turku University of Applied Sciences, TUAS, signed a partnership agreement to develop their long-term cooperation. The active cooperation between Raisio and TUAS applies to all TUAS's services for companies: trainings, services, projects in R&D and innovation, theses and students' practical training.
With the agreement, Raisio will be able to use TUAS's specialist as its staff trainers and consultants. Furthermore, Raisio employees graduated from TUAS will be visiting the school to tell the students about their jobs at Raisio and industry-related professional requirements.
Raisio is also involved in the business mentoring of TUAS sales studies; students can do sales-related projects and trainee periods at Raisio, for example in tasks supporting purchasing, production, sales and marketing. In 2014, Raisio also participated in the INNO project: students were assigned by Raisio to brainstorm under the theme of "how to make porridge a phenomenon".
Students' company visits in Finland
Besides the cooperation in business mentoring, Raisio also provided schools with more conventional form of cooperation; we gave targeted lectures regarding, e.g., corporate responsibility and informed school children on healthy eating and snacking. In 2014, Raisio had partners from various schools and institutes; students came from, for example, Faculty of Education and Faculty of Agriculture and Forestry.
In addition, Raisio Consumer Service's test kitchen offered students from different fields cooking afternoons under the theme of healthy and easy snacks. As a result, everyone could taste and evaluate, e.g. smoothies, self-made crispbread, muesli, raw porridge and barley wok.
Project: For the Best of Crops and Environment
Raisio and Yara started a cooperation project in 2011. The project called Ympäristön ja sadon parhaaksi (For the Best of Crops and Environment) aims to decrease the footprints of farming and nutrient runoffs into waterways. The project also seeks to find ways to increase protein self-sufficiency.
In 2014, various measures were carried out to reduce the environmental impact of farming. One of the key things was the contest Huippufarmari haussa (Raisio's Next Top Farmer), in which Yara Suomi is Raisioagro's partner.
Environmental impacts of Raisioagro's contract farmers' grain yields have been monitored throughout the project period. The results show that greenhouse gas emissions have declined for all grain varieties. In addition, the pilot farms have reported encouraging results regarding the impacts of eutrophication.
Huippufarmari haussa (Raisio's Next Top Farmer)
In 2013, Raisioagro launched a crop contest called Huippufarmari haussa (Raisio's Next Top Farmer), which aimed to produce high yields and good economic results as well as to minimise the environmental impacts of farming. In 2014, the yields of the best farms were 80% higher than the national average levels.
NUTS – Finland to be a model country for sustainable nutrient economy
This unique three-year project conducted by Lappeenranta University of Technology is building a sustainable nutrient economy. Raisio is in the steering group of the project.
The project proceeded well during 2014 and some of the pilot projects have already been carried out. The project has developed a definition method for nutrient footprint. To support the development work, Raisio has provided the project with background information on food production.
FOOTPRINTBEEF – Reduction of environmental impacts of beef production
MTT Agrifood Research Finland's project studies extensively the environmental impacts of beef production and ways to reduce these impacts. Raisio is in the steering group of the project.
FootprintBeef, part of the wider NUTS project, is gradually moving from the data collection phase into the phase of environmental impact modelling. In 2014, farm models were developed and information was gathered to support the modelling of environmental impacts.
Bioeconomy providing added value to agricultural production
The project looked for cost-effective technologies for the collection and recovery of field biomass. The project also aimed to improve nutrient use efficiency by bringing Raisio's environmental indicators into the everyday life of the farms. The project was part of the Ministry of the Environment's Programme to promote the recycling of nutrients and to improve the status of the Archipelago Sea.
The project was completed in October 2014. In 2014, key measures included a seminar Olki energiatuotantoon (Straw in energy production) in Loimaa and a trip Olkienergia (Straw Energy) to Denmark at the beginning of April. During the trip of two days, participants familiarised themselves with many different ways to use straw in energy production. The project analysed the recovery of field biomass in the biogas production and tested straw pellets at the biogas plant of Institute of Land-based Studies at Tuorla.
The project results have been compiled into a final report. Read the final report (available in Finnish only) (pdf)
Bio Refine Tech – Development of bio refinery expertise and business
The Bio Refine Tech project has been focused to examine, in a laboratory scale, the suitability of forest industry filtrates in algal farming as well as opportunities for organic fertilisers while looking for benefits of bio refinery integration for the forest industry. Turku University and Aalto University were execution partners in the project administrated by Cursor Oy. Raisio was in the steering group of the project.
The Finnish Environment Institute's project creates a forum for the region of South-West Finland aiming to develop a more sustainable food chain from the field to table. The target is to bring operators of the industry together and to launch experiments reducing food chain emissions and increasing regional well-being. Raisio is in the steering group of the project.
KESTI has brought food chain operators of Southwest Finland together through various development projects. KESTI has taken measures related, e.g., the optimisation of biogas plant operations and it created a campaign Kauden kasvis (Vegetable of the Season). Furthermore, KESTI operates as a development platform for new projects; four project applications have been prepared related to sustainable and climate friendly food chain of regional level.
Hyötyä taseista (Benefits from Balances) – Interpretation of nutrient balances to benefit the environment and farming
The research project led by MTT Agrifood Research Finland combines and summarises the information included in nutrient balances in a new way. This benefits the development of resource-efficient cultivation. Raisio is in the steering group of the project. Raisio has provided the project with background information for the calculation of nutrient balances.
The project is looking for answers to following questions: What are the limits within which nutrient balances vary in different circumstances? What kind of balances are possible to achieve in the practical farming? What is a good nutrient balance in terms of the environment? The project combines all available information on balances, controlled studies and materials collected from farmers. According to the information, the aim is to determine the nutrient balance variations related to different soil conditions and crop rotations. The project objective is also to set reference values for balances by means of the criteria related to variation, environmental impacts and economy of cultivation.