“Using locally grown and produced food is favourable for the producer, consumer and entire region,” says Heidi Jaakkola, producer of local food, project manager and the power behind Uusikaupunki’s Reko group that connects consumers and food producers directly.
“There is no official definition for locally produced food, but the general consensus is that food produced in the same region is local. What counts is that the raw materials are produced, processed and, of course, consumed in the same region to the extent that is possible, which means that money also circulates in the nearby region,” Jaakkola explains.
One of the top priorities of promoting locally produced food is to guarantee the best possible prices for producers for their raw materials or products. It makes continuing the production, alongside the development, possible. The aim is to serve locally produced food in the consumer’s table with as little processing as possible.
“For many producers, the work is very much artisanal. When a product is processed as little as possible, it doesn’t only retain the flavour but also all the vitamins that are important for our health,” says Jaakkola.
From Uusikaupunki’s Reko group, you can also buy products made by the producers, such as baked goods, foodstuffs or even ice cream. In some cities, Reko groups require the ingredients to also be locally produced but according to Jaakkola, Uusikaupunki isn’t too nit-picky about that.
“One of the key points of Reko is that the products are self-made, preferably from locally produced ingredients. However, we won’t check where you have bought, say, the margarine for your products. In my opinion, the Reko group is also about supporting small entrepreneurs.”
Follow Uusikaupunki’s REKO group on Facebook (REKO Uusikaupunki) to buy locally produced delicacies.