Mattas Farm Dairy has been nominated for the Nordic Council Environment Prize 2021.
In addition to foodstuff production and food crafts, grazing animals and biodiversity conservation are an important part of the activities at Mattas Farm Dairy in Finby, Sund, Åland. Sustainability, environmental issues and animal welfare permeate the company, whose work with circular production is prominent. Slurry is used on the farm's own fields, and the dairy manure is used as pig feed on a nearby farm that has free-range pigs. Jennifer Sundman and Lars-Johan Mattsson have degrees in agronomy and economics, respectively, and both are trained in food crafts. They often participate in local events that support a positive narrative about local food production and sustainable agriculture, reaching a wide audience of both locals and tourists. Through their renewal of the farm, they have shown a forward-looking spirit and courage in a traditional industry that is generally characterised by poor profitability.
Mattas Farm Dairy is a good example of a small sustainable company whose principles and philosophies can be applied to other companies in the same industry, but also to companies operating in other areas, for which reason they have been nominated for the Nordic Council Environment Prize 2021.
About this year’s theme: Sustainable food systems
For food production to be considered sustainable, the food must be produced locally where possible, using environmentally sustainable methods. In agriculture, the emphasis is on recirculated plant nutrition and environmentally friendly farming practices that take into account greenhouse gas emissions and carbon sequestration, biodiversity and good management of water resources. Those engaged in animal husbandry and fish farming accept an environmental responsibility and maintain high standards of animal welfare. Natural resources used for food, such as game, wild fish and other natural products, are exploited wisely.
When ingredients are processed into food products, as much as possible of their nutritional content is preserved. There is no waste of resources in the food industry, products are packaged in an energy-efficient way and the environmental impact of distribution is minimised. Companies and retailers offer customers sustainable alternatives, and minimise food waste through their own initiatives. The food that consumers buy is based on environmentally sustainable alternatives, such as vegetarian food adapted to the seasons. We eat as many calories as we need, no food goes to waste and organic waste is recycled.