Atria’s operations are guided by a globally changing environment and the expectations and requirements related to this environment. As a food company, our operations are also fundamentally related to people’s daily lives. When creating the future, we must keep both of these aspects in mind.
Food is a necessity, but everyone's relationship with food varies. Our relationship with food also depends on the situation and time. There is a difference between daily life and special occasions, and a family with children eats differently than a student or a 50-year-old couple.
But there are also similarities: good taste, aroma, appearance. Food must be safe and sustainably produced and prepared. This is expected of us, and these expectations are guiding us.
In terms of sustainability, 2017 was a good year for Atria.
At the beginning of the year, we received export licences to China – which had been in the works for years. China represents 50 per cent of the global pork consumption around 54 billion kilos of pork consumption per year. Pork perhaps the most important ingredient in Chinese cuisine. Chinese customers appreciate pure, safe meat that has been produced sustainably without unnecessary antibiotics.
In the spring, we introduced a new minced meat package in Finland. It has won several awards, having been selected the sustainability effort of the year and the best package in the world, among other accolades. The package enables us to reduce plastic waste by around 150,000 kilos per year.
Food preparation is our core business, but we also lead the way in the energy sector. Last year, we began the construction of one of the largest solar power parks in the Nordic countries, next to our Nurmo production plant. Solar power is a sustainable choice, and it supports the controlled use of natural resources while also creating more favourable conditions the future.
Over the past few years, we have worked to reduce production waste even more effectively than before. The results have been delightfully good and have largely been based on creating smarter ways of working. New technologies and investments are needed as well, and we are also investing from this perspective.
We also made good progress in traceability and transparency. In Finland, the name of the farm and its location have been indicated on the labels of meat products since 2012. Today, the label also indicates whether antibiotics have been used in the rearing of the animals.
We introduced antibioticfree chicken products in August.
Antibiotic-free beef and pork products have become available in early 2018.
Sustainability is part of Atria’s business operations. It is not just slogans and labels – sustainability creates added value. Sustainability is an integral part of our operations on the contract production farms and in animal transport, the manufacture of products in our plants, product development, transparent marketing and communications, sales and management - in everything.
CEO, Atria Plc