KISMET – sustainable food environments

Our Swedish partner goes EU Award!

08 July 2024
Good news: Our KISMET “Bio district Sörmland” has been nominated one of the finalists to an EU Award
Technical details

The Action Plan for the Development of Organic Production adopted in March 2021 takes the approach that, in order to stimulate organic production, consumer demand for organic products should grow. This requires, amongst other things, increased public awareness of the characteristics and benefits of organic production.

For this purpose, the Action Plan includes the launch of annual awards recognising excellence in the organic value chain.

These awards will be handed over for the third time on 23 September 2024, which is EU Organic Day.

Bio district Sörmland has been nominated one of the finalists for the bio district award 2024.

Already in the 1940s the first initiatives started for including youth in organic agriculture and food in Järna, Södertälje municipality, Sweden. In 1964 the Saltå mill and bakery was founded and can be seen as the cradle for the organic movement in Sweden.

In 2001 the municipality made the decision to make food the key for better health, environment and a viable community. When in 2010 the municipality joined the Beras project, they developed the concept “Diet for a Green Planet” that includes a holistic approach to agriculture, food and society. The municipality serves 17 000 meals/day from 90 kitchens and has implemented the concept into the public meal organization in the municipality and today 65 % of the food is organic.

Since 2015 the municipality established a food development node that runs a number of development projects in cooperation with other authorities, academia, business sector and society where the Diet for a Green Planet concept is the platform for sustainability.  The overall aim with the projects is to increase local organic food production and consumption.

The first version of the Bio district was established in 2012 named “Järna/Södertälje Loc stal Sustainable Food Society” with actors from the whole food chain, local and regional authorities, tourist operators, social and cultural initiatives, civil society, a bank based on values, education and R&D.

Inspired by the EU strategies on Biodistricts , Beras joined the International Network of Eco Regions (IN.N.E.R.) in 2021. In 2021 University of Kassel, Germany concluded a study of 11 case studies around the globe and Södertälje was one of the cases.

Within the framework of EU Baltic Sea Region project “KISMET” we started the process for “Bio district Sörmland” in 2023 which is now under further development.

The Bio district is situated in the picturesque landscape of Sörmland, which includes the southern part of Stockholm County and the whole of Södermanland County. The area includes altogether 21 municipalities with a population of 1.2 billion.

The aim of Bio district Sörmland is:

  • to make organic products from the region more available to consumers such as to restaurants, public kitchens and individuals by strengthening the infrastructure for local food production.
  • to enhance diversity in the landscape and within the actors of the food system.
  • to raise awareness about the positive impact of organic food for health, environmental, social and economic sustainability.
  • encourage prosperous and viable livelihood and rural development
  • Strengthen a sustainable tourist sector
  • Be an active partner in the international network of bio districts

Success story “Local milk and social inclusiveness”:  Our local dairy was out of business. A major challenge was costs of distribution to end consumer. Within the framework of the KISMET project and establishing the Bio district we made contact with some social institutions to look at opportunities. A group made commitments for weekly purchase of milk and as part of their daily business to take care of the deliveries. The dairy provided a small truck and so the business started up again. Happy consumers and happy coworkers at the truck making an important contribution in society. Following some month the good news spread to the city of Stockholm and deliveries started up to restaurants, bakeries, shops and an ice-cream maker. The team in the Radici food shop offered to work as a logistic hub in Stockholm. See the film: “On a journey to build a better world.”

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