Meat village in the woods of Nurmo

Meat village in the woods of Nurmo

The majority of the productions that Atria sells in Finland are manufactured in Nurmo, Seinäjoki, in South Ostrobothnia. Nurmo houses the Atria meat village, Finland’s leading meat industry cluster, which is also significant on a Nordic, and even European, scale. 

It is a village of dozens of slaughterhouse, production, warehouse, logistics and administrative buildings that began to grow in the mid-1970s. Today, it offers work for more than 1,500 people and is the largest workplace in the entire region. Over a ten-year period extending to 2007, Atria invested in excess of EUR 500 million in the development and growth of the meat village.

In the early 1960s, Itikka (later Atria) was looking for new premises for its industrial operations. The old premises in the centre of Seinäjoki, in an area called Itikanmäki, became cramped as slaughter volumes increased constantly. As many as thirty municipalities offered suitable plots. The best one was found in Nurmo: 35 hectares – later expanded to 52 hectares – of forest land on hard soil, with room to grow. 

The freezing plant is the first building completed on the Nurmo plot in 1977.

When the pork line is completed in 1982, a modern industrial area begins to form on the Nurmo plot. 

Approximately 1,000 pigs arrive at the pork line every day. The cutting department processes about 70 per cent of these, and only a third is delivered to customers as whole carcasses. 

The Nurmo meat village begins to take shape when a broiler plant is completed on the right side of the pork line in 1988. Broiler production doubles. By the early 1990s, the production of frozen chicken is discontinued and all production is sold as fresh chicken.  Consumer habits begin to change and chicken becomes more popular. 

In 1992, a modern food factory is completed in the Nurmo meat village, after a major effort lasting 18 months. The floor area measures more than three hectares, so it doubles the factory premises in the village. The new factory begins to manufacture Atria and Chick products at an annual pace of over 50 million kilograms, which translates into 10 kilograms of food per every Finn. The factory costs a massive 400 million Finnish markka. 

President Tarja Halonen pushes a button in 2000: Atria’s new logistics centre is officially opened. CEO Seppo Paatelainen (left) and chairman Reino Penttilä follow with concentration. The second phase of the centre is completed seven years later.

The Atria meat village in Nurmo in its entirety. An extension to the Chick poultry unit of the food factory was completed in 2003, and the second phase of the logistics centre, seen on the right, was finished in 2007. The centre sends out an average of half a million kilograms of food to customers every day – and up to a million kilograms during high season.