Eura's Food Waste Reduction Project: Achievements and Future Perspectives in Satakunta, Finland
05 February 2024
The municipality of Eura in Satakunta, Finland, has taken significant strides towards sustainable food management by investing in food waste reduction. Since the environmental program started in 2022, a related food waste reduction pilot was launched at Kiukainen primary school, yielding positive results that have garnered broader interest. In this article, we delve into the project’s successes, Eura municipality’s future plans, and collaboration with the KISMET project of the EU’s Baltic Sea Region program.
Successes at Kiukainen primary school: The food waste reduction project at Kiukainen primary school has proven to be a success. According to monitoring, plate waste significantly decreased by an impressive 73%. This is not merely a statistical figure; it translates into tangible savings, reduced carbon dioxide emissions, and diminished food waste. The reduction in plate waste was achieved through simple measures, such as encouraging students to take only what they can eat and coming back for more if needed. Such small “tricks” were effective, and according to cafeteria worker Riitta Santala, they did not burden her but rather provided a sense of accomplishment. Satu Palokangas, the project leader, emphasizes that the keys to the project’s success are attitude, commitment, and collaboration. She states: “The keys to the project’s success have been three words – attitude, commitment, and collaboration.”
Impacts on the School Community: The project has positively impacted the Kiukainen primary school community. Collaboration among various stakeholders, including food services, teachers, and students, has strengthened. This is evident not only in improved statistics but also in the growing awareness within the school community about the environmental effects of food waste.
Future Plans: Eura municipality’s future plans for reducing food waste are ambitious. The municipality aims for wider participation from other schools and food service locations within Satakunta, Finland. With this commitment, Eura demonstrates its willingness to be a pioneer in advancing sustainable food management practices within the country and possibly also in the Baltic Sea region.
Communication and Information Sharing: Improved communication between schools and the central kitchen during the project has yielded concrete results. Unnecessary food ordering has decreased, and feedback on menu planning has increased. These measures have practically resulted in reducing food waste and showcased what can be achieved through collaboration and open communication.
Collaboration with the EU’s Baltic Sea Region Program: Eura’s Food Waste Reduction Project serves as an inspiring example of sustainable food management in Finland for the KISMET project. Collaborating with various stakeholders and with strong plans for the future, Eura municipality is at the forefront of sustainable food management practices within the country. Eura municipality strengthens collaboration with the KISMET project, funded by the EU’s Baltic Sea Region program and executed in the Satakunta region by Prizztech and Satakuntaliitto. This partnership opens up new opportunities for seeking new financing, resource sharing, and the exchange of best practices in food waste management at a regional and Baltic Sea region level.
Satu Palokangas, The municipality of Eura, firstname.lastname@example.org
Heikki Perko, Prizztech Ltd. email@example.com