Finns hold world record in eating organic porridge
The aim of the Organic Porridge World Record campaign was to make organic food better known in a way that was easy and fun. It succeeded beyond all expectations: a total of 300 organisations joined the campaign and more than 2,300 consumers participated via the social media.
Marja-Riitta Kottila, Executive Director of the Finnish Organic Food Association Pro Luomu, points out that no chemical pesticides or artificial fertilisers are used in organic farming. This is the reason for the various environmental benefits of organic porridge: reducing chemicalisation, increase in biodiversity, maintaining soil fertility and productivity, and saving on natural resources.
“If all Finns had organic porridge instead of inorganic, say, once a week, the amount of pesticides sprayed on arable lands per growing season would be reduced by about 4,800 litres”, Kottila explains.
World record in eating organic porridge - Together
On the selected date, the food services of almost one out of four Finnish municipalities had organic porridge on their menu. It was eagerly consumed especially in the about 900 schools and other education institutions and a total of 1,200 nurseries and kindergartens that took part in the campaign. The young generations of Finns consumed almost 300,000 servings of organic porridge.
Many other organisations got interested as well. Organic porridge was served in all Finnish military bases and prisons, tens of associations, Sokos hotels, ABC service stations, workplaces, farms and, of course, private homes.
The campaign led to a more permanent increase in the use of organic cereals. As an example, the municipality of Kuusamo had never used organic products, but from now on they decided to use only organic porridge flakes. In future the ABC service station chain will also make all porridge from organic flakes.
More than half of the Finnish municipalities ready to switch to organic flakes
It is estimated that only 6 to 10 per cent of the raw materials used by public food services in Finland are organic. The willingness to increase the use of organic products exists. Based on a recent study, almost half of the municipalities believe that the use of organic products in their services is going to grow in the next couple of years.
The inquiry was conducted in August 2017 by Sales Questor Oy, commissioned by Pro Luomu and EkoCentria.
More than half (57%) of the 100 respondents responsible for municipal food procurement considered it possible that the municipalities they represent would start using only organic porridge flakes. Almost a third (30%) thought that switching to organic products would not be possible because of the higher price, lack of supply or strict criteria in the procurement contracts.
Organic Porridge World Record campaign was part of the coordination project on organic production, funded under the Rural Development Programme for Mainland Finland.