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News from Apetit Group Wellbeing from vegetables Responsibility at Apetit
Apetit has agreed to sell its Grain Trade business
Apetit Plc, inside information, on 23 March 2022 at 03:00 p.m.
Apetit Plc’s Business Review 1 January – 30 September 2018: Favourable ...
Since 1 January 2018, Apetit has reported its first (Q1) and third (Q3) quarter results as Business Reviews. The Half-year Financial Report (Q2) and Financial Statements Bulletin (Q4) provide more extensive reporting and contain segment information. July–September 2018 Net sales amounted to EUR 76.6 (74.4) million Operational EBITDA was EUR 3.1 (3.0) million Operational EBIT was EUR 1.7 (1.6) million January–September 2018 Net sales amounted to EUR 209.1 (225.3) million Operational EBITDA was EUR 3.2 (4.2) million Operational EBIT was EUR -1.1 (0.1) million The information is unaudited. The figures in parentheses are the equivalent figures for continuing operations for the same period in 2017, and the comparison period means the corresponding period in the previous year, unless otherwise stated. Juha Vanhainen, CEO: “Apetit seeks to lead the way in vegetable-based diets. Renewal, one of our strategic focuses, means a continuous stream of new products that interest consumers. This autumn, Apetit again introduced several new, tasty products that enable consumers to increase their consumption of vegetables and make responsible choices. We brought Finnish fish cakes made from fish caught from a lake as part of fish-stock management to the frozen food sections of retail shops. A vegan version was added to our family of spinach soup products, and a new vegetable mince product was added to our pizza selection. We also included new products in our selection for kids and new vegetable mixes in our Tuorekset product family. The Group’s net sales increased slightly due to a significant increase in the world market prices of grains. The two most recent harvest seasons have been very exceptional, and the Finnish grain crop in 2018 will be the weakest since 2000. The hot and dry summer also had a negative effect on the Finnish vegetable harvest. Food Solutions’ result continued to develop favourably due to the increased sales of not only frozen foods, but also fresh products, as well as adjustment and efficiency measures. Oilseed Products’ result remained at the comparison period’s level. Grain Trade’s profitability decreased significantly from the comparison period, due to the second consecutive weak grain crop and its effects on trading opportunities. I’m very pleased with the fact that Food Solutions’ improved performance during this quarter offset the decrease in Grain Trade’s result. The Group’s strategic focus areas are renewal, efficiency improvement and international operations. Our work to improve profitability and create future growth, even outside Finland, continues within the Group.” KEY FIGURES EUR million 7-9 2018 7-9 2017 Change 1-9 2018 1-9 2017 Change 2017 CONTINUING OPERATIONS, KEY FIGURES Net sales 76.6 74.4 3% 209.1 225.3 -7% 311.8 Operational EBITDA 3.1 3.0 3.2 4.2 6.8 Operational EBIT 1.7 1.6 -1.1 0.1 1.3 Operating profit 1.5 1.6 -2.6 -0.1 1.1 Share of profit of associated company Sucros -0.1 0.1 -1.0 -0.4 1.0 Profit for the period 1.1 2.6 -3.4 0.5 2.9 Earnings per share, EUR 0.17 0.42 -0.55 0.09 0.46 Working capital, at end of period 49.1 39.5 30.0 Investment 2.6 3.7 5.2 GROUP, KEY FIGURES incl. discontinued operations during comparison period, Seafood Equity per share, EUR 16.73 17.75 18.10 Return on capital employed R12 (ROCE), % 0.5% 2.5% 2.4% Net cash flow from operating activities -18.7 12.2 20.0 Equity ratio 63.6% 62,6% 72.6% Gearing 12.3% 8.8% -9.6% FINANCIAL PERFORMANCE IN JULY–SEPTEMBER Comparable net sales increased by 3 per cent to EUR 76.6 (74.4) million. Food Solutions’ net sales increased in frozen foods and slightly in fresh products. Grain Trade’s net sales improved due to a significant increase in the world market prices of grains. Oilseed Products’ net sales remained at the comparison period’s level. Operational EBIT was EUR 1.7 (1.6) million. Food Solutions’ result improved as a result of good sales in frozen foods and fresh products, as well as adjustment and efficiency measures. Grain Trade’s profitability has decreased as a result of the weak crops of 2017 and 2018. Oilseed Products’ profitability remained at the comparison period’s level. In the comparison period, an item of EUR 1.3 million related to taxes recognised as a result of the divestment of the seafood business had a positive effect on the result. FINANCIAL PERFORMANCE IN JANUARY–SEPTEMBER Comparable net sales declined by 7 per cent to EUR 209.1 (225.3) million. Food Solutions’ net sales remained at the comparison period’s level. Sales increased in frozen foods and fresh products in all sales channels. Net sales from service sales decreased due to the reduction of the sales network. Grain Trade’s net sales decreased year-on-year. Oilseed Products’ net sales remained at the comparison period’s level. Operational EBIT was EUR -1.1 (0.1) million. Food Solutions and Oilseed Products improved their results slightly from the comparison period. In Grain Trade, profitability decreased significantly, mainly due to weak harvest seasons. The Group’s liquidity was good, and its financial position is strong. The equity ratio was 63.6 (62.6) per cent, and gearing was 12.3 (8.8) per cent. Consolidated cash flow from operating activities after interest and taxes amounted to EUR -18.7 (12.2) million in January–September, due to an increase in grain stocks and a significant increase in the world market prices of grains. SEASONALITY OF OPERATIONS In accordance with the IAS 2 standard, the historical cost of inventories includes a systematically allocated portion of the fixed production overheads. With production focusing on harvest time, raw materials are mainly processed into finished products during the third and fourth quarters of the year. This means that more fixed production overheads are recognised on the balance sheet in the third and fourth quarters than during the other quarters of the year. Due to this accounting practice, most of the Group’s annual profit is accrued in the third and fourth quarters. The seasonal nature of profit accumulation is most marked in the frozen foods group of the Food Solutions segment and in the associated company Sucros, where crop-season production focuses on the fourth quarter. PROFIT GUIDANCE FOR 2018 UNCHANGED The Group’s full-year operational EBIT from continuing operations is expected to decrease from the comparison period (2017: EUR 1.3 million). Due to the seasonal nature of the Group’s operations, most of the annual profit is accrued in the second half of the year. Sales volumes and the profit outlook for 2018 are burdened by the weak harvest of 2017 and the poor harvest outlook for 2018. Apetit Plc For further information, please contact: Juha Vanhainen, CEO, tel. +358 10 402 00 Attachment: Apetit Plc business review 1 january-30 september 2018 Apetit is number one in vegetables. It is a food industry company firmly rooted in Finnish primary production. We create well-being with vegetables by offering healthy and tasty food solutions that make daily life easier. We also produce high-quality vegetable oils and rapeseed expellers for feeding stuff, and trade grain on the international markets. Apetit seeks to lead the way in vegetable-based food solutions. Apetit Plc’s shares are listed on Nasdaq Helsinki. In 2017, the company’s net sales were EUR 312 million and it had an average 557 employees. Read more at www.apetitgroup.fi.
Apetit builds bioenergy plant in conjunction with its rapeseed oil milling ...
On 7 June 2018 Apetit announced that it plans to build bioenergy plant. “We are clad to be able to invest in development of our strategic businesses and the use of renewable energy. The new bioenergy plant will increase energy self-sufficiency of the plant and use of production side streams as energy source,” says CEO Juha Vanhainen. The bioenergy plant will replace the current energy solution that uses non-renewable fuels and significantly reduce the carbon dioxide emissions of the entire Group. The value of the investment is about EUR 3.7 million. The project is conditional for an environmental permit. For further information, please contact: Juha Vanhainen, CEO, Apetit Plc, tel. +358 10 402 00 Sanna Väisänen, Director, Communications and Investor Relations, Apetit Plc, tel. +358 10 4024041
Apetit Half-Year Financial Report 1 January–30 June 2018: A weak harvest ...
This release is a summary of Apetit’s Half-Year Financial Report for the January-June period of 2018. The complete report is attached to this release as a pdf file and it is also available on the company’s website at apetitgroup.fi/for-investors. April–June, continuing operations* Net sales from continuing operations were EUR 72.8 (76.8) million Operational EBITDA was EUR 0.1 (0.8) million Operational EBIT was EUR -1.4 (-0.5) million January–June, continuing operations* Net sales from continuing operations were EUR 132.5 (150.8) million Operational EBITDA was EUR 0.1 (1.2) million Operational EBIT was EUR -2.8 (-1.5) million Key events during the period Apetit invests EUR 9.7 million in a new patty and ball production line in Säkylä. Apetit invests EUR 3.7 million in the construction of a bioenergy plant in conjunction with the Avena Kantvik Oy rapeseed oil milling plant in Kirkkonummi. Avena Nordic Grain Oy and Viljelijän Berner joined their purchasing and sales organisations in production input and grain trade under a new operating model based on partnership. Apetit Vegepops Porkkana-mango was chosen as the Finnish Food of the Year 2018 *Continuing operations include Food Solutions, Oilseed Products and the Grain Trade. The information has not been audited. The figures in parentheses are the equivalent figures for the same period in 2017, and the comparison period means the corresponding period in the previous year, unless otherwise stated. REVISED (3 August 2018) PROFIT GUIDANCE FOR 2018 The Group’s full-year operational EBIT from continuing operations is expected to fall short of the 2017 level (2017: EUR 1.3 million). Due to the seasonal nature of the Group’s operations, most of the annual profit is accrued in the second half of the year. Sales volumes and the profit outlook for 2018 are burdened by the weak harvest of 2017 and the poor harvest outlook of the current year. Juha Vanhainen, CEO: “Apetit has continued with the measures of the strategy announced in March 2018 in its focus areas, which are internationalisation, renewal and efficiency improvement. These measures reinforce Apetit’s position as number one in vegetables and help in building a foundation for the further development of the business. In June, we announced that we invest nearly EUR 10 million in a new patty and ball production line at our Säkylä plant. The new line will double our production capacity, meet current demand and enable us to produce new products for the Finnish and international markets. As a part of the project to improve efficiency, Apetit is building a bioenergy plant in conjunction with the Avena Kantvik Oy rapeseed oil milling plant in Kirkkonummi. The bioenergy plant will replace the current energy solution that uses non-renewable fuels and will significantly reduce the carbon dioxide emissions of the entire Group. Apetit participated in the share issue of the food business development company Foodwest which took place in May-June. Apetit’s holding in the company will promote our strategic goals to focus on product development and to renew and lead the way in vegetable-based diets. One result of the work we have done to date is the nomination of Apetit Vegepops Porkkana-mango as the Finnish Food of the Year 2018 in May. We also continued work on a project to develop a rapeseed ingredient in order to develop a new ingredient with high nutritional content for the international food market. The goals of renewal and continuous development of operations took concrete form when Apetit’s subsidiary Avena Nordic Grain Oy and Viljelijän Berner joined their purchasing and sales organisations in production input and grain trade under a new operating model based on partnership. Business will be conducted under the name Viljelijän Avena Berner and it will offer Finnish farmers a one-stop-shop for production input and grain trade services. Increasing the share of food sales abroad has proceeded according to plan. At the end of August Apetit will launch a new selection for the Swedish market called Free From which includes five patty and ball products. In Russia we are continuing work on reinforcing our position through local food product chains. As expected, the aftermath of the weak harvest of 2017 continued in the first half of 2018 and substantially lowered grain trade volumes and consolidated net sales on the comparison period. The shrinking of the Sales Services network had a negative impact on the net sales of Food Solutions. Oilseed Products’ performance remained stable as volumes slightly grew on the comparison period. The low price of sugar on the global market led to a weaker result for the associated company Sucros. During the spring Apetit has carried out adjustment measures to improve profitability, including personnel reductions and other cost saving measures. Their combined impact in 2018 will be EUR 1.0 million and the annual total impact will be EUR 1.8 million. It is likely that the 2018 harvest season will also be significantly worse than average, as was the 2017 season, which will have a negative impact on the Group’s profit-earning capacity in the second half of the year. The Finnish grain harvest is estimated to be the weakest of the 21st century, which will limit trade opportunities especially in exports. The harvest of field vegetables is also likely to be lower than usual.” KEY FIGURES EUR million 4-6 2018 4-6 2017 Change 1-6 2018 1-6 2017 Change 2017 Continuing operations Net sales 72.8 76.8 -5% 132.5 150.8 -12% 311.8 Operational EBITDA 0.1 0.8 0.1 1.2 6.8 Operational EBIT -1.4 -0.5 -2.8 -1.5 1.3 Operating profit -2.7 -0.7 -4.1 -1.7 1.1 Share of profit of associated company Sucros -0.4 0.2 -0.9 -0.5 1.0 Profit for the period -2.8 -0.5 -4.5 -2.0 2.9 Earnings per share, EUR -0.45 -0.08 -0.72 -0.32 0.46 Working capital, at end of period 28.5 25.3 30.0 Investment 1.8 2.5 5.2 Group (incl. discontinued operations during comparison period) Earnings per share, EUR -0.45 -0.27 -0.72 -0.56 -0.10 Equity per share, EUR 16.75 17.58 18.10 Return on capital employed (ROCE), % 0.9% 1.9% 2.4% Net cash flow from operating activities -0.1 23.1 20.0 Equity ratio 76.1% 71.1% 72.6% Gearing -4.7% -1.5% -9.6% NEWS CONFERENCE AND WEBCAST A news conference (in Finnish) will be held today at 10:00 a.m. at Apetit’s office, Sörnäistenkatu 1 A, Helsinki. A live webcast of the news conference can be followed via apetitgroup.fi/for-investors. The presentation material and a recording of the webcast will be available after the news conference on the company’s website. Apetit Plc Half-Year Financial Report 1 January - 30 June 2018 Apetit Plc For further information, please contact: Juha Vanhainen, CEO, Apetit Plc, tel. +358 10 402 2100 Apetit is number one in vegetables. It is a food industry company firmly rooted in Finnish primary production. We create well-being with vegetables by offering healthy and tasty food solutions that make daily life easier. We also produce high-quality vegetable oils and rapeseed expellers for feeding stuff, and trade grain on the international markets. Apetit seeks to lead the way in vegetable-based food solutions. Apetit Plc’s shares are listed on Nasdaq Helsinki. In 2017, the company’s net sales were EUR 312 million and it had approximately 640 employees. Read more at apetitgroup.fi.
Apetit invests EUR 9.7 million in a new patty and ball production line in S...
"Patties and balls have been one of the most rapidly growing product group for a few years, with annual growth about 20% on the average. Prospects for continuous growth are also bright - this is supported by strong growth in consumer demand, own product development efforts and new openings in international trade," says CEO Juha Vanhainen. The new patty and ball production line doubles the production capacity and aims to meet the current demand and enables new products to be produced for domestic and international markets. In addition, it improves production efficiency in many ways. "All of our strategic focus areas, renewal, internationalization and efficiency improvement, will become visible in the investment. In addition, the investment is material locally in Säkylä and it is also a strong message on developing and further strengthening of our operations. The investment will generate work and workplaces in the production and supply chains due to increased volumes. Raw material for products are also produced by local contract crowers in the area," Vanhainen continues. In the future, the investment will enable a more versatile product development in relation to e.g. product shapes, a raw material base and new flavours, and the production of entirely new types of vegetable-based products. Also, it enables better customization for different markets.
Avena and Farmer’s Berner merge their input and grain trades under a new ...
Through the new operating model, the companies are able to offer Finnish farmers a domestically-owned partner in grain and oil crops trade, as well as in the use and purchase of agricultural inputs. Both companies are experts in their field and together they are able to provide Finnish farmers with even more versatile services. The establishment of the joint organisation does not include corporate transactions as, in the new operating model, the grain trade will be carried out on behalf of Avena and the input trade on behalf of Berner. The collaboration officially begins on 1 August 2018. “In the future, farmers can purchase agricultural equipment and handle grain trade with the same experts in accordance with the single-window concept. The new operating model combines strong expertise on input and grain trades. In this way, we are able to guarantee future supply of agricultural trade services based on strong expertise”, says Juha Vanhainen, the CEO of Apetit. “Both Berner and Avena are well-known experts in their main fields of activity. We want to offer this expertise to farmers to enable production of the best crops possible. We trust that the collaboration will give us the best possible conditions for building a reputation among Finnish farmers as a professional and reliable operator”, continues Antti Korpiniemi, the CEO of Berner. Both companies will continue their business activities according to their strategies. Avena is part of Apetit Group and Berner will continue as a Finnish family business. The merged organization comprises 30 experts in the agricultural and grain trade as well as 10 experts in the professional gardening trade. Nation-wide business will operate through many local offices and reception points. Farmer's Avena Berner’s ambition is to be the farmer’s best partner in Finland with an agile and efficient operating model. The extensive selection includes, e.g. seeds, plant protection agents, fertilizers and fuels as well as new services for measurement of agricultural operations and the quality of crops. The wide network of reception points provides good and reliable delivery points for grain and oil crops.
Apetit plans to build bioenergy plant in conjunction with its rapeseed oil ...
Apetit is planning to build a bioenergy plant in conjunction with the Avena Kantvik Oy rapeseed oil milling plant in Kirkkonummi, Finland. The planned bioenergy plant would replace the current energy solution that uses non-renewable fuels and would significantly reduce the carbon dioxide emissions of the entire Group. “In addition to reducing carbon dioxide emissions, the bioenergy plant would also significantly lower Apetit’s current energy costs as oil milling is the Group’s most energy-intensive production process,” says CEO Juha Vanhainen. The value of the investment would be about EUR 3.7 million. The plant’s planned heat output is 4.5 MW, which would cover the energy needs of own production. A secondary boiler would also be built at the same time, to enable the use of natural gas. The bioenergy plant’s primary fuels would be forest chips and recycled wood and other fibre waste from forests and fields in the area. Apetit would also be able to use vegetable oil production side streams, such as rapeseed screenings, vegetable oil sludge and, when possible, the bentonite clay used in the rapeseed oil bleaching process, in its energy production. “The bioenergy plant would enable Apetit to utilise its production side streams. The plant’s energy self-sufficiency would increase and it would no longer be dependent on other users of its side streams. The key goal is for the bioenergy plant to be part of the plant’s circular economy and resource-smart use of raw materials,” says Vanhainen. Apetit will apply for the Ministry of Economic Affairs and Employment of Finland’s investment aid that is granted for projects based on renewable energy and will also submit an environmental permit application. Apetit will decide on the investment if both applications are accepted.
High-quality vegetable oils from Finland
Avena is responsible for Apetit's Oilseed Products Business. The company is Finland's most significant producer of vegetable oils and oilseed-based raw materials for feeds. Its oilseed products are manufactured in its oil milling plant in Kirkkonummi, where rapeseed is processed into high-quality products with a very high added value. Avena uses around 90 per cent of the rapeseed grown in Finland in its oil milling plant in Kirkkonummi. The plant’s annual need for rapeseed is nearly 1.5 times higher than the harvest in Finland. For this reason, Avena is systematically seeking to increase rapeseed production in Finland in cooperation with growers and other operators over the long term. A production process of vegetable oils is based on physical minimal processing methods which use 99.9 per cent of the rapeseed to produce oil and rapeseed expellers. This pure and natural method is chemical-free. Through gentle heating, all of the valuable components – such as antioxidants, sterols and vitamins – are extracted more effectively than in cold pressing. Improving the quality of the fats consumed by Finns is in line with the objectives of nutrition commitments. 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.
Apetit to eliminate bottlenecks in the organic food sector – launching a...
The consumer demand for organic food is increasing rapidly.* However, there is a shortage of raw material supply: in spite of the growing market, half of Finnish farmers are not interested in moving into organic farming. This is revealed by the organic farming survey commissioned by Apetit. As a food company specialising in vegetables, Apetit believes in growth of the organic food sector and takes a strategic step by establishing a development programme for organic farming. With its programme, Apetit aims to develop organic farming methods in order to facilitate farmers’ changeover to organic farming and consequently to take organic farming to a whole new level. To develop organic farming, Apetit’s Räpi experimental farm in Köyliö begins to study and develop organic farming as part of Apetit’s proprietary Vastuuviljely (Responsible farming) method. Some of the fields of the experimental farm are turned into fields supporting organic farming. Practical farming problems as obstacles to the organic leap The survey commissioned by Apetit in August 2017 revealed that farmers’ general interest in organic farming has increased from the previous year. Nearly one in four of the farmers responding to Apetit’s survey is interested in moving into organic farming. Nevertheless, for a farmer it is a question of livelihood and often also personal investment and risk. As obstacles to starting organic farming, the farmers list concrete farming problems, such as weed management, insufficiency of know-how or laborious bureaucracy related to organic farming. The farmers also demand that food industry and commerce commit to purchasing organic raw materials and that they receive practical assistance and instructions on succeeding in organic farming. "Our development programme offers help to farmers who wish to move into or towards organic farming. The goal of the programme is to increase the efficiency of organic farming and boost the crops it yields as well as to tackle various challenges related to moving over to organic farming. With this programme, we clear the way for organic vegetables to enter stores in the form of Apetit’s products. We hope that our commitment gives farmers some security", says Anu Ora, Vice President at Apetit. Ora talked about this topic at the organic food event Luomuelintarvikepäivät on 5 October 2017. Apetit introduces to organic farming a similar contract farming model as is used in ordinary farming. Farmers commit to meeting the high quality requirements of the Vastuuviljely (Responsible farming) method in organic farming, too, and in return, they have the security that their crops will be bought in the season. The first Finnish organic frozen products to stores As the first company to do so, Apetit brought Finnish organic frozen vegetables to the stores this autumn. The very first products featuring Finnish organic vegetables were Organic Spinach and Organic Peas. In November, two new favourites will be launched: Apetit Organic Potato & Soup Vegetables and Kotimainen Organic Potato and Onion Mix. “In some areas in Finland, the demand for organic food already exceeds the supply. We believe strongly in growth of the organic food sector in Finland as well as in its export prospects. For the export potential to be realised, the entire food industry and commerce would need to commit to the productisation and sales of organic products. Promoting organic food is recorded in the Government Programme and what is needed now is concrete action. Apetit wants to be a trailblazer in this respect,” Ora says. Product information Apetit Kotimainen Organic Spinach 150 g and Apetit Kotimainen Organic Peas 200 g. The Apetit organic vegetables have been grown at the Vanhakartano organic farm in Köyliö. * In a year (July 2015–June 2016), the sales of organic food increased by 12%. During that period, the retail sales of organic products amounted to approximately EUR 250 million. (Estimate by Pro Luomu on the basis of information collected from retailer groups.) During the same period, the sales of daily consumer goods only increased by 0.3%. (Sales data from the Finnish Grocery Trade Association member companies.) Key survey results A total of 68% of the Finnish farmers who took the recent survey believe that the demand for organic food is increasing among consumers. Furthermore, 44% of them believe that organic farming will become a significant agricultural activity in the future, whereas 25% disagreed on this statement and 30% could not or did not want to express their view on this matter. Of those already involved in organic farming, 49% feel that organic farming is economically more profitable than ordinary farming. Organic food has the potential to become a significant export asset for Finland, believe 46% of Finnish farmers. A total of 48% think that organic farming is a more environmentally friendly way of operating. When questioned about obstacles to starting organic farming, 54% name the difficulty of weed management as the main obstacle, 29% feel that their own know-how is insufficient and 26% think that the bureaucracy related to organic farming is too heavy. When inquired what would facilitate the changeover to organic farming, 43% of the farmers demand that food industry and commerce commit to purchasing organic raw materials over the long term, 42% need practical assistance and 41% demand support during the transition period from ordinary farming to organic farming. When presented with the statement that organic farming is not economically sensible in Finland, 29% of the respondents agreed with the statement, 31% disagreed and 39% could not or did not want to express their view on this matter. One in four responding farmers who are already involved in organic farming believe that organic food will become a permanent trend among consumers. ** Apetit had TNS Kantar Agri conduct a survey targeted at Finnish farmers of grain, vegetable, fruit, berries and oilseeds. The survey period was 17–30 August 2017. In the analysis phase, the respondent sample was weighted so that it is representative of the Finnish farm structure in terms of the farm size and organic status. The survey’s margin of error is approximately +/-6 percentage points for the entire sample. N=247 responses.
Räpi experimental farm - a pioneer in cultivation expertise in satakunta
The operations began in 1954 as an experimental farm for Länsi-Suomen Sokeritehdas Oy and they have continued uninterrupted to the present day, with Räpi serving as an experimental farm for Lännen Tehtaat and Apetit. Today, as one of only a few company-owned experimental farms in Finland, it contributes to the development of agricultural expertise in Satakunta. Throughout its history, the Räpi experimental farm has served as a channel through which new plant varieties and cultivation methods enter the Satakunta region. The cultivation methods, plant varieties and focus areas of research have changed over the years. The experimental activities began with experiments related to sugar beet varieties and cultivation methods. They were later expanded to cover many other outdoor crops when Lännen Tehtaat began the contract growing and production of a wide range of frozen vegetables in Säkylä. The research done at Räpi is aimed at anticipating future trends in outdoor crop cultivation. For example, all the plant varieties and cultivation methods selected for use in Apetit’s contract growing are tested at Räpi before their broader implementation. This season, the farm has tested plant varieties, fertiliser use and cultivation methods for peas, swede, parsnip, carrot, spinach, celeriac, sugar beet and other crops. EXPERIMENTATION PROMOTES VEGETABLE QUALITY AND SUSTAINABLE GROWING During the past decade, the research and experimentation at Räpi has been particularly focused on developing a cultivation method that supports a sustainable and environmentally friendly farming ecosystem. The most recently-developed cultivation methods are based on using plant protection measures only when necessary and only to a limited extent. Biological and mechanical solutions are prioritised. Pest control solutions can include, for example, nets that cover crops, and information on pest life cycles and their natural enemies. Similarly, biodegradable covering materials and mechanical uprooting can be used to control weeds. THE DELICIOUS TASTE OF APETIT FROZEN VEGETABLES COMES FROM EXPERT FARMING AND SUPERIOR VARIETIES The Räpi experimental farm is constantly testing new varieties to find those with the best flavour, texture, nutritional quality and suitability for freezing for use in Apetit products. Apetit’s product development also guides choices related to plant varieties and contract growing. The popularity of Apetit Kotimainen, a product range focused on vegetables grown in Finland, supports introduction of new varieties to contract growing in Finland. A HUB FOR DEVELOPING FINNISH INTEGRATED PRODUCTION EXPERTISE The results of the research at Räpi experimental farm are used in the development of the Apetit responsible farming method to which all of Apetit’s contract growers are committed. The responsible farming method is used to manage plant-specific cultivation instructions, quality and product safety, and other factors. For example, plant protection measures are only used when necessary and with due consideration. The Räpi experimental farm plays a key role in Apetit’s Responsible Farming method. The Räpi farm has contributed significantly to development of the Finnish IP (Integrated Production) method. In 2011–2013, it participated in the Varjellen Viljelty project by updating new plant-specific cultivation instructions in response to consumer expectations and regulatory standards. The Räpi experimental farm cooperates closely with the Pyhäjärvi Institute, Natural Resources Institute Finland, Åbo Akademi University, the Sugar Beet Research Centre of Finland and growers in the Satakunta region. The new knowledge and expertise developed at Räpi is transferred to Apetit’s approximately 100 contract growers in many ways. Those include the Experimental Farm Days event, which promotes the success of agriculture as a livelihood throughout Satakunta. Experimental activities in Räpi in summer 2017: Pea Broad bean Soybean Carrot Swede Turnip Celeriac Spinach Yellow beet, chioggia beet, red beet Chinese cabbage, cauliflower, kale, Savoy cabbage Potato The effect of rapeseed extract on weeds (fallow and swede field) Sugar beet for the Sugar Beet Research Centre of Finland ROOTS ON LALLI MANOR LANDS The written history of the Räpi experimental farm began in 1156, when it was part of Lalli Manor. In 1812, the Kepola country manor was separated from Lalli Manor. More than a century later, in 1917, the Kepola country manor was split into three parts and divided between the owner’s sons. The youngest son, Albert, stayed on as landlord of one of the three parts, which was subsequently named Räpi. After the war, the family’s youngest son, Jaakko Rauanheimo, became the new landlord of the Räpi estate. He held this position until 1954, when he sold the farm to Länsi-Suomen Sokeritehdas Oy, which had been established in Säkylä in the early 1950s.
Fish cakes from roach – a sensible approach!
The development of Järvikalapihvit fish cakes stemmed from finding the right networks and the desire for diverse use of Finnish fish. This led to ecological and delicious fish cakes produced locally from fish caught in Lake Pyhäjärvi. For the time being, the product is only sold to the professional food service sector. The wishes of demanding food professionals and their customers were taken into account in developing the fish cakes. Professional kitchens place a high priority on products being suitable to a wide range of customers, and on good nutritional value. The fish cakes made with lake fish contain no lactose, gluten or soy. They contain high quantities of omega 3 fatty acids and vitamin D. Roach is a low-fat, high-protein fish. Although roach and small perch are often considered low-value fish, they were given due respect as a raw material in the development of Järvikalapihvit fish cakes. “We didn’t want to mask the characteristic flavour of these fish, so we developed a straightforward flavour that combines salt, pepper, cream and butter with the taste of the fish itself,” says Hanna Pere, Marketing Manager at Apetit Ammattilaiset. This delicious and environmentally friendly product contributes to more efficient use of Finland’s fish stocks, and offers a different seafood option for food service companies. AN ECOLOGICAL CHOICE The eutrophication of Lake Pyhäjärvi in Säkylä has long been worsened by its large populations of roach and small perch. Both species feed on plankton, which helps reduce the lake’s nutrient load. Lower levels of plankton lead to more algae growth in particular. Local fishermen have managed the fish stock of Lake Pyhäjärvi by catching lower value fish to curb eutrophication and maintain the healthy balance of the lake’s fish population. In the past, fish caught as part of fish stock management were primarily used as animal feed in the fur trade, or thrown away due to the lack of the right kind of value chain to use them as food. This changed when Järvikalaa Nam, a Pyhäjärvi Institute project focussing on the use of lake fish as food, combined the product development efforts of Apetit Ruoka Oy and Jouni Aaltonen, the entrepreneur behind the Kolvaan Kala company. The roach and small perch caught as part of fish stock management are processed into a paste that is then used to produce fish cakes at Apetit’s Säkylä production facility on the shore of Lake Pyhäjärvi.
How peas make their way from field to freezer
Apetit’s frozen peas are frozen within two hours of being shelled. This tight schedule is made possible by the pea fields being close to Apetit’s frozen food production facility in Säkylä. In addition, the entire process is carefully timed. When planning the harvesting of peas, the sowing of different pea varieties is taken into account to ensure uninterrupted harvesting of ripe peas in the summer. The entire summer harvest must not ripen at exactly the same time, so sowing is planned in accordance with the production plant’s freezing capacity. Ripening of the peas and the start of harvesting and shelling is monitored closely and precisely down to the hour. UNIQUE IN FINLAND To plan and predict the start of the pea harvest, Apetit uses Finland’s only tenderometer, an instrument for measuring the hardness of peas. Pea samples are collected from all the plots, and the timing of harvesting is predicted with the help of tenderometer readings. The pea harvesters used by Apetit are also unique in Finland. Manufactured by the UK-based company PMC, they weigh a whopping 25 tonnes each. Apetit owns three pea harvesters, with the newest one having been purchased in 2012. Apetit bought its first self-propelled pea harvester in 1979. HARVESTERS SEPARATE PEAS FROM THEIR PODS The speed at which the harvester moves during shelling is important, as the speed determines the quantity of pea mass and the speed of the threshing drum. The drum and the beaters inside it spin the stalks, opening the pods and moving the peas to the harvester’s hopper. The peas are then transferred to tractors and lorries for transportation to Säkylä for freezing. QUICK AND GENTLE FREEZING Thanks to the detailed harvesting schedule and short distances, the peas go from field to freezer in two hours. This ensures the superior flavour and texture of Finnish frozen peas, and creates a taste of summer in the midst of winter. Gentle blanching and quick freezing in an air blast freezer ensure that the peas have a long shelf life and high nutritional content. The facility produces 10 tonnes of frozen peas per hour. Taking the washing of the production line into account, the daily pea production capacity is 200 tonnes. OUR PEAS ARE RESPONSIBLY GROWN All our pea growers are committed to Apetit’s responsible growing practices, which are based on integrating several different perspectives on improving cultivation and vegetable quality as well as managing environmental impact. Under Apetit’s responsible growing practices, contract growers use appropriate vegetable-specific and plot-specific cultivation methods to prevent the proliferation of pests and weeds. They also improve crop yields and vegetable quality using methods that are as environmentally friendly as possible, and that cause minimal disturbance to the cultivation ecosystem. Apetit’s range of frozen pea products was expanded in summer 2017 after the first organic crops were harvested.
Räpi experimental farm conducts tests on the characteristics of plant vari...
There are around 1,000 parcels of land currently in use at Apetit’s Räpi experimental farm to study the differences between different varieties of plants used by Apetit, as well as new vegetables to add to the product range. Among the most interesting focuses of new research are broad beans and soybeans. “With broad bean and soybean, our aim is to study the potential of growing new plant protein sources in our region,” says purchasing manager Timo Kaila. In addition to exploring these new frontiers, Räpi farm is also active in studying the characteristics and cultivation requirements of other plants, such as different varieties of peas and carrots. Many of the 1,000 parcels of land in use at Räpi are devoted to sugar beet experiments carried out by Apetit for Sucros. Apetit is set to launch organic products in shops this autumn. Räpi experimental farm is also taking steps related to organic farming. One block of the fields at the form has been assigned to organic farming. “It takes about two years to get a field ready to be formally approved for organic cultivation. During this time, we are growing different varieties in this field to maintain good soil quality. Starting organic farming is a major process that takes a lot of work,” Kaila explains. The results of the research at the Räpi experimental farm are used in developing the Apetit Responsible Farming method, which all of Apetit’s contract growers are committed to applying. The Responsible Farming method is used to manage, among other things, plant-specific cultivation instructions, quality and product safety. For example, plant protection measures are only employed when necessary and with due consideration. The Räpi experimental farm plays a key role in Apetit’s Responsible Farming method. Having been in operation for more than 60 years, Räpi is now one of only a few company-owned experimental farms in Finland.
Packaging protects the product
The main purpose of food packaging is to protect the product. Good packaging makes processing easier in the distribution chain, keeps the product fresh, ensures product safety and protects the product, thus preventing food waste. Good packaging also tells the consumer about the product’s content and properties. Plastic is used for food packaging because it is such a versatile material. It is light and durable, which is good for logistics, and it provides excellent protection for many types of products. Around 20 per cent of the packaging material used by Apetit is currently plastic. Roughly half of this material can be reused if it is recycled. For instance, the Apetit Tuorekset containers are recyclable plastic. 70 per cent of their raw material is recycled. Apetit continually improves its packaging to eco-friendlier. Apetit has the following goals for packaging materials made from plastic: to use recyclable packaging materials where possible to increase use of packaging materials made from renewable raw materials where possible to reduce the amount of packaging materials used by making them thinner where possible New handy bag-in-box packaging for rapeseed oil Apetit has launched a new, handy and easy-to-use bag-in-box rapeseed oil packaging of for professional kitchens. Thanks to a tap, the packaging is easy to use unlike heavy dispensers. The tap also prevents spillage. The packaging is also hygienic and protects the oil from sunlight and oxidation. Its environmentally-friendly corrugated cardboard box is made of 100 per cent recyclable raw material. When empty, the cardboard packaging can be recycled and the bag can be used as energy waste. Compared to conventional plastic dispensers the manufacturing of the bags requires almost 80 per cent lower amount of plastic.
Apetit is a partner of the yrityskylä learning environment for young peopl...
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.
Apetit made seven nutritional commitments to promote a more sustainable die...
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%
A safe working environment
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.
Reducing food waste has a substantial positive environmental impact
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 co-operates with WeFood to cut down its food 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.