Food waste – that is, food or raw materials ending up as waste – is an ecological and economic problem. The annual food waste of the Finnish food chain as a whole is estimated to be 400 to 500 million kg. Food causes around one-third of the environmental impact generated by households.
Reducing food waste is an important way to decrease the environmental impact of the food product chain. The environmental impact of food waste is markedly more significant than that of packaging production and waste management, for example. Freezing large amounts at a time and carefully maintaining the cold chain also make the food product chain more efficient and reduce waste.
Reducing waste in production is a part of Apetit’s focus on continuous improvement of efficiency. Careful planning of production and development of sales forecasts play an important role in reducing waste.
Apetit and the WeFood shop for food waste run by Finn Church Aid are now working together and Apetit supplies fresh products that would otherwise become waste to WeFood.
The Apetit products supplied to WeFood include various vegetable and salad mixes near their best before date or with errors on their packaging or that do not meet all quality criteria. The proceeds of WeFood are used for Finn Church Aid’s development aid.
Apetit also finds new possibilities to reduce food waste with other food industry actors in Urban Food project, which aims to get surplus raw materials from food industry to the dining tables. Apetit also cooperates in Yhteinen Pöytä to reduce food waste.
Apetit will continue as an Yrityskylä partner over the period 2018- 2021. Apetit has been involved in the Yrityskylä project since 2015. Yrityskylä offers school students an opportunity to learn about how companies and the society works by working in miniature companies. The job descriptions of the employees in Apetit’s miniature company are like a scale-model of the real Apetit. The students negotiate with other miniature companies in Yrityskylä on contract growing and make Responsible Growing contracts, engage in product development and design new products, plan marketing and organise tastings to collect customer experiences and sell products to customers.
All Apetit products are based on its R&D strategy to develop healthy and easy-to-use products that help people to increase their use of vegetables. Apetit develops its products in line with general nutritional recommendations, and the company monitors and makes use of reliable studies and nutritional information published by research institutes in its field. Apetit has made a nutrition commitment in seven content areas determined by the Finnish Food Safety Authority. The purpose of the commitment is to improve the nutritional quality of Finnish diets and support sustainable food choices. In addition to increasing the consumption of vegetables, the commitments promote to make Finnish diets healthier by reducing the consumption of salt and sugar and increasing the supply of healthy snacks. The commitment also improves the quality of the fats consumed by Finns. Vegetable-based oils are an integral part of a healthy diet, as they contain soft and unsaturated fats. Rapeseed oil contains omega-6 and omega-3 fatty acids. In accordance with the nutritional commitments it has made, Apetit has set a goal to increase the use of vegetables, to reduce the intake of salt and sugar and to promote the use of soft fats. To achieve to goals Apetit introduces new main course and snack products to the market and developes recipes. Apetit has also committed to increase the number of products based on fish-stock management. Commitments on development of product selection by 2020. Reference level is the situation in 2017. NUTRITION COMMITMENTS Situation in 31.12.2018 Commitment for 2020 Increasing the use of vegetables New products for the fresh product sections of retail stores +5 pcs +5 pcs Vegetable-based main course products +10 pcs +10 pcs Solutions that make it easier to increase the use of vegetables +50% +50% Lunch and meals Offering of snack products in line with nutrition recommendations for schools +200% +100% Training and recipes for the professional food service sector +200% +50% Recipes Recipes for consumers and the professional food service sector to increase the use of vegetables +127pcs +100 pcs Sugar intake New products containing no added sugar for categories with a limited supply of such products +75% +100 pcs Quality of fat Heart Symbol products for the retail trade and the professional food service sector to reduce the use of saturated fats +3 pcs +4 pcs Collections of recipes to support the use of rapeseed oil + 23 pcs +20 pcs Salt intake Heart Symbol products +35% +20% Products for children New vegetable-based snack products +3 pcs +3 pcs Commitment: Sustainable food choices Fish products based on fish-stock management +50% +30%
Safety at work plays a significant role at Apetit and is one of the key themes of its personnel strategy. The goal is to reduce occupational accidents to zero and to reduce sickness absences. Key measures include increasing communication about occupational safety, in addition to more systematic safety observation practices and the further development and harmonisation of location-specific occupational health and safety committees. In order to prevent occupational accidents, Apetit regularly updates occupational safety guidelines. In addition, we have improved our know-how in risk evaluation and incident investigation and systematically conducted risk assessments regarding production tasks. We have also given supervisors training on occupational safety management in an extensive training programme that lasted for a year and covered 20 topics. Maintenance staff has been provided with training in machine safety. In 2018, Apetit started to offer a reward for days without any incidents at each location. Key indicators of occupational safety – the accident frequency rate and the number of safety observations, occupational accidents and sickness absences – are monitored on a monthly basis. Apetit has a slightly better level of accidents compared with the average for the food industry. Production work involves repetitive movements that may cause musculoskeletal disorders. In addition, cold-storage facilities and humid production facilities, as well as the use of machines and knives, increase the risk of illnesses and accidents. Apetit seeks to reduce this risk primarily through job-specific instructions and appropriate personal protective equipment and by improving machine safety and ensuring appropriate work clothing for the circumstances.