Cost reduction of 43 million euros by halving the food loss in Helsinki Region restaurants

News 11.01.2020

If restaurants and canteens located in the Helsinki Region reduced their food losses by 50%, emission reduction potential would be nearly 19,000 tonnes CO₂e per year. That equals annual emissions of nearly 5,000 residents of Helsinki Region. Additionally, cost reduction potential is 43 million euros per year. 17,000 tonnes of food goes to waste in restaurants and food services in the Helsinki Region annually.

The Smart & Clean Urban Food project promoted the production and consumption of sustainable food. The project developed markets and platforms for distributing and selling local food.

The Urban Food change project aimed to make the food system more sustainable, particularly in the urban environment. The project created new local food market networks that bring together a wide range of actors in the food industry. 

One of the platforms involved in the project was Korjuu.com, which aims to bring fresh and ethically produced local products into the use of restaurants. The project provided the platform with a lot of valuable information for developing its business. 

“Urban Food enabled us to identify needs, opportunities and problems with digital platforms. It was important for us to see what kind of problems exist, particularly with food waste. We managed to develop our operating model so that it meets real needs, wants and financing opportunities”, says Korjuu.com’s CEO Tommi Vuorenmaa.

In Urban Food, markets and platforms were developed for a wide variety of local food, from wild herbs to food waste. The platforms helped in solving challenges related particularly to local production and making use of industrial surplus, as well as streamlining logistics.

In the future, the model created in the project will be refined into an even more functional system that serves the Helsinki metropolitan area’s restaurants. The work will continue in the new Farm to Restaurant project. The project involves the Perho Culinary, Tourism and Business College, Collico Oy, Herttoniemi Food Co-op and Korjuu.com

“We hope that the experiences gained from the Urban Food project will begin to bear fruit. This requires larger numbers of testers, active testing and a lot of feedback. In addition to collaborating with restaurants, we also want to expand our other networks”, Vuorenmaa says.