Study Visit to Helsinki region

Building regional produce supply chains: Logistics for short circuit agriculture

URGENCI’s Grundtvig meeting in Finland : Alter-Conso reports

Kaukon luomutila

Alter-Conso’s first contact with the action coordinated by Urgenci in the context of Grundtvig exchanges happened at the autumn 2013. Subsequently, on 11 October 2013, Alter-Conso welcomed a delegation of activists from Belgium, Finland and Germany, led by Jocelyn Parot. The aim of this visit was to present the activites of our CSA system, the logistical aspects and the governance of our cooperative. This first meeting left us with very good feelings about the interest to exchange with other CSA schemes and the idea to join the exchange was born.

1st Day: Lassila’s farm, Oma Maa

On 15 January 2014, 4 French militants including a farmer, Françoise Fargeot, a consumer, Caty Cordeiro, and two AlterConso staff, Mr Klein and Nicolas Pelloquin, joined the international Grundtvig meeting in Finland. Thus, all the 4 parts of the cooperative were represented.

During, the first afternoon, directly after landing, the group headed for a visit to Jukka Lassila’s farm in Tuusula. There, the visitors heard precise explanations about the way he manages his farm in a biodynamical way, balancing the use of the local ressources (forest, pasture, water plants and fish from the lake nearby) to grow vegetables, grains and cattle cow and breed chickens.

The farm is part of a cooperation selling-group named Oma Maa. Afterward, back to the meeting’s HQ where we get a short presentation of the differents projects. The discussion goes futher on the « efficiency » needs of C.S.A systems : wich logistics for wich aims.

Most of the participants agreed on the fact that efficiency should be treated regards to the value our systems are supporting : equity, respect, social and economical responsability : sustainability of our process.

2nd Day: ROK in Lahti

On Thursday the 16th, the group left for Lahti, where a meeting was scheduled with Noel Bruder, the community Gardener of the ROK’ CSA. system. Using former roses greenhouse and around 0,75 ha, ROK grows vegetables for around 70 families (2013).

This project, still in its early early months, is a good example of a project linking traditional and innovative local economical activities and building new community -based awareness about the environnemental issues. After having a lunch at Kaupunkikylä, the afternoon was dedicated to presentations of the differents projects, trying to focus on the logistical apects.

The group drove back late at night to the HQ.

3rd Day: My Appletree, Public Meeting in Helsinki

On Friday the 17th, the groups left the HQ and headed to Rikard Korkman’s farm. Rikard founded minun omenapuu (= my appletree), an innovative direct selling system for specialised in the distribution of apples.

The concept is the following: the consumers hire an apple tree (for 40 €) to get part of the harvest (around 15 kg). Most of the orders were done in a very short period on the Internet. This system is a way for the consumer to come closer to « their » food supply chains (they get their « own » apple tree) and for the farmer to sell his harvest beforehad-nd and thereby be confident in the financial management.

The group arrived for lunch in Helsinki, where the afternoon was dedicated to a big presentation of all the Grundtvig participants, in front of an audience of around 40.

Among the differents presentations, the one of the organic food association was of special interest for the facts and figures calculating how many people (consumers) should be necessary to make the CSA system affordable around Helsinki. The whole meeting was a nice way to consider how wide is the diversity of those pratices which are aiming to create new consumption and production models.