A countryside magazine of Local Action Groups and ELY Centre in Northern Savo
Circus Muikku attracts everyone NATIONAL PARK AT YOUR SERVICE AUTOMATION FOR GLOBAL BUSINESS
Sustainably produced food from Northern Savo
Savosta designia maailmalle
Lumohukka brings Finnish nature indoors
Finnish design to the world
Member of Parliament, former Member of European Parliament, Sari Essayah (left) visited Katri Stroheckerâ€™s farm during a meeting with Local Action Groups (LAG) in Northern Savo.
Consumers want to know more about where and how the beef has been produced.
SUSTAINABLY PRODUCED FOOD FROM NORTHERN SAVO Finn Angus Cooperative, a cooperative of beef farmers in Northern Savo, is the first one to produce antibiotic free beef in Finland. The beef is an export product of an international company Pan Nordic Meat Oy. Antibiotic free products are becoming a global food trend.
Text: Hannakaisa Markkanen Photos: Akseli Muraja
During the last few years, we have read in the paper about food safety scandals in Europe and around the world. Regulations for food safety differ from country to country â€“ even inside Europe. The regulations for Finnish farmers are one of the strictest and therefore have led to farmers struggling with their profitability. Thanks to the strict regulations we have not seen any food safety scandals in Finland.
According to the Finnish Government report on food policy (2017) some of the strengths of Finnish food production are expertise in animal health and welfare and a good control over the animal diseases and use of medicine. According to the report (2017) the antibiotic free products are new food trends around which product brands could be built.
Did you know? Antibiotic free beef The example of Finn Angus Cooperative shows that a
long-term funding of European Agricultural Fund for Rural Development (EAFRD) will lead to results. Finn Angus brand is based on the idea to produce beef antibiotic free. -I saw that the demand for antibiotic free beef will rise in the international beef market in the future. I studied successful beef brands in the US and noticed that we don’t have the same in Finland, tells Katri Strohecker, a Finnish Aberdeen Angus beef farmer and a developer in Leppävirta. EAFRD has funded the cooperative’s project aiming at increasing the popularity of Aberdeen Angus beef in the Finnish beef market, enhancing the professionality of their members and creating possibilities to produce beef according to sustainable development in Finland. -We want to enhance the economic situation of the whole chain of beef production. It seems that some answers to better profitability are antibiotic free production, traceability and export possibilities, continues Strohecker, the development project manager of the cooperative.
Environmentally friendly production
European Region of Gastronomy in 2020: Kuopio region - I´m very glad that Kuopio region will be European Region of Gastronomy in 2020. Persistent work for our county to be acknowledged as a gastronomic county has paid off. We have beautiful nature with its clean waters and gourmet food to be proud of, tells RuokaSavoproject manager Ilona Sares. European Region of Gastronomy 2020 award will be handed over in October 2017 in Brussels.
Satoafood festival is
The beef is produced environmentally friendly and
held in August in
according to sustainable development. Even though farming produces agricultural emissions, the grazing of the Angus cattle has beneficial effects on diversity of nature.
-Responsibility of environment means for example that the cattle grazes in a natural meadow. They eat the bushes and not only has the traditional cultural landscape gone better but we can find more birds and butterflies compared to when we started, Strohecker says.
Gourmet export product According to the Finnish Government report on food
policy (2017) Finland is a significant exporter of high quality and safe foodstuffs in 2030. The Finnish strengths rely on safety, traceability and cleanness of the food. Finland aims at doubling food export from 1,5 billion by 2020. Finn Angus Cooperative has made a contract with Pan Nordic Meat Oy to open international export market for antibiotic free beef. -We want to offer consumers the best Finnish beef. Our advantages are safety and cleanness. Clean food is valued and people are more willing to pay for gourmet-quality, says Strohecker.
Photo: ProAgria Pohjois-Savo ry / RuokaSavo-project
Water meeting the quality requirements for domestic water can be used directly in the food industry.
Vendace is the regional fish for Northern Savo. Vendace or ‘muikku’
The project has been funded by ELY Centre in Northern Savo. Sources:
in Finnish is a tasty fish.
Finnish Government report on food policy http://mmm.fi/en/food-and-agriculture/policy/food-policy Food from Finland http://www.exportfinland.fi/web/eng
Photos: Regional Council of Pohjois-Savo
VUORI glass mountains were presented in Japan.
FINNISH DESIGN FROM NORTHERN SAVO TO THE WORLD Northern Savo, is known from its wood which is exported all around the world. There is also Finnish glass design coming from Savo. A young glass artist Sini Majuri is conquering Japan with her glass design being moulded in wooden casts originated from forests of Savo. Majuri is aiming at international market with her design.
Text and photos: Hannakaisa Markkanen
Finnish Design from Savo
Aiming at international growth
Sini Majuri is a successful glass artist who has spent
Majuri wants to make her living with glass design and
the last years around the world. She has represented Finland e.g. in Germany and in New York with her Finnish design. Until now her career has focused on art but for a long time she has wanted to design glass articles for people to use in their homes. A family owned company, Eiran Kertan Oy, in the field of forest industry has enlargened its scope to glass design. The wooden glass blowing moulds are coming from the forests of the Majuri family in Suonenjoki in Savo. - Nature is an important part of my design and a place for inspiration, as well. Wood is a natural material for me to use since I have spent my childhood surrounded by the beautiful and magical forests of Suonenjoki. It’s important for me to produce design pieces in a sustainable and environmentally friendly way, Majuri says. Black alder is often used as a material for wooden moulds. -It’s long-lasting material and can be used several times for example in the making of drinking glasses. I blow glass in the wooden mould and the branches can be seen in the glass. The carbonized surface of the glass gives a unique character e.g. for the glass mountains, Majuri says.
knows what it takes.
- Let’s say that money doesn’t grow on trees at the moment. Therefore, I want to broaden the scope for utility articles in interior design like drinking glasses, vases and lights. In the lights we are combining glass and wood originating from Savo, Majuri says. In order to make her living in the field of design, Majuri has goals in the international market. -We could stay in Finland but the market is very small. In order to make bread and honey, we need to go to the international market. Therefore, our company joined the MikroGrow network which was recently established by business center SavoGrow. It’s a local network for companies reaching for growth in international market and sharing knowledge. I’m sure that going from Northern Savo to the world is easier after sharing experiences with each other. It creates win-win for everyone, says Majuri.
Trade fair in Japan It´s a long way from Savo to Japan. Majuri was
presenting her VUORI glass mountains in Japan in the ILT Interior Lifestyle. It is an international trade fair for Tokyo to propose lifestyle concepts in interior design markets from around the world. -I am very grateful that LAG Mansikka granted us the funding for the international trade fair. Building the compartments for the trade fair was expensive, so we really needed the money. It’s important to be present at the international fairs in order to have contacts and to build recognizability, explains Majuri. Japan is an interesting gate to Asian market and it has been Majuri’s dream to sell her design in Japan. -Japanese value Finnish design. Mountains are special for them and they are held sacred. Therefore, we had a common ground to start the negotiations with our possible partners, Majuri says. The handcrafted VUORI glass mountains will be seen in the luxury hotels in Japan. -We got some good contacts and a couple of very good deals, Majuri smiles.
Wooden glass blowing moulds are coming from forests in Suonenjoki.
Because of the funding I dared to take the risk and now we have our own office.
AUTOMATION FOR GLOBAL COMPANIES Savon Automaatio Oy, a company designing and selling industrial automation solutions, is doing international business for global companies in LeppĂ¤virta. The company was granted funding of EAFRD for remodelling an old gas station and buying a Universal Robot for demonstration purposes.
Text: Hannakaisa Markkanen I Photo: Riku Jokinen
Savon Automaatio Oy is a company providing
customised turnkey industrial automation solutions from individual machinery to full production line modernisation, including industrial robots, software development and electrical installations. Pasi Ikonen became an entrepreneur in the year 2014. Before that he worked as teacher in the Savo Vocational College.
From a teacher to entrepreneur - I thought that now would be the last time to change
my profession. As a teacher, I also worked as an electrical inspector, so I had a clue what running my own business might be like, Ikonen tells. The experience as a teacher has been beneficial and the former contacts have helped obtain new customers. The clients range from local industry to global industrial businesses using automation systems in their production. -We design and build different kind of production lines and their software. We update and modernise old control systems as well, Ikonen explains.
EAFRD has fundamental meaning for countryside LAG Mansikka, based in Suonenjoki, granted funding
for remodelling an old gas station to a modern workplace and to purchase a Universal Robot. Universal robots are designed to work and cooperate with human-beings, especially in production lines of small and medium enterprises. -Because of the funding I dared to take the risk and now we have our own office. With help of the robot, we can demonstrate our customers what the robots can do, Ikonen says. Ikonen is also actively engaged in the development of his village Sorsakoski in LeppĂ¤virta. -EAFRD has a fundamental meaning to the countryside and the investments will pay off. Itâ€™s important for local services and business and helps to keep countryside inhabited. I could have a lecture about this, Ikonen laughs.
Lumohukka brings Finnish nature indoors with multimedia Lumohukka Oy produces Green Care services which are based on a variety of methods that rely on nature. Lumohukka brings Finnish nature indoors for those who cannot physically visit the nature anymore. The company is based in Vieremä in North Savo but the multimedia equipment is movable around in Finland.
Text: Hannakaisa Markkanen Photo: Lumohukka
From Helsinki to Vieremä Nature photographer and a new Green Care entre-
preneur Katja Ronkainen has made a career in a ministy in Helsinki before moving to countryside. Ronkainen has educated herself with many occupations in the field of nature, such as nature guide, before starting her own business. -I met my husband and moved to Vieremä. We got kids and I was thinking what to do next. As I stayed home with my little ones, I got some income as a nature photographer. My dream was to photograph in my business, but it took some time to become an entrepeneur combining photographing and guided nature experiences, tells Ronkainen.
Green empowerment indoors Lumohukka takes people out to the nature but also
brings the nature indoors for those who cannot physically visit the nature anymore. Lumohukka produces services for example to nursing homes for old people or people with immobility problems regadless of age. A nature experience is created with multimedia presentation which combines moving pictures and sound. The presentation may have elements that use also other senses such as smell or taste e.g. by adding fresh blueberry twigs to be held and smelled during the presentation. LAG Ylä-Savon Veturi granted Enterprise Development funding for purchasing a video projector, a projector canvas and a drone camera. - I wouldn’t have dared to take such a big risk without the help of EAFRD funding. Now, I can profoundly make my dream come true in helping people suffering from
memory disorders. For example, hearing a black grouse mating call, may return some valuable memories for old men. The change to be mainly indoors as getting old, is bigger for the people who have lived their lives in the countryside than people living in the cities, says Ronkainen.
Reconnecting with nature Ronkainen almost lost her connection with nature and wants to help people to reconnect with it.
-I have lived in a city and I know from experience that nature heals physical and mental well-being, Ronkainen says. She organises guided nature experiences for groups e.g. schools and work places. -A guided experience may be a visit in a forest or it may be in the Esplanade Park situated in the heart of Helsinki. I teach how to empower yourself through the nature. For instance, I may guide how to relax and balance your body and mind with the trees (Metsämieli). It’s not tree hugging, Ronkainen laughs. Ronkainen travels there where her customers are. -At first, I will be in the Northern Savo and Kainuu. I believe that the future will bring me cooperational partners to organise nature experinces with. This is my gospel to be spread around, Ronkainen tells.
www.lumohukka.fi Green Care encompasses activities that maintain and improve human well-being and quality of life. It is based on a variety of nature-based methods that rely on nature and animals. Activities may happen in rural and agricultural environments, but also indoors and in urban areas.
SPIRIT OF THE CIRCUS MUIKKU ATTRACTS EVERYONE
Timo Hatakka has run the Circus for nine years.
The capital of Northern Savo, Kuopio, is not the only place where to go in for trendy circus activities. Circus Muikku has organised circus training in Kaavi, in a small countryside town nearby Kuopio, already nine years. The municipality of Kaavi has invested in circus activities. The gymnasium of the new elementary school in Kaavi was designed together with Circus Muikku and works as a training facility for the Circus.
Circus Muikku arranged a spring show for pupils at the
Text: Hannakaisa Markkanen I Photos: Akseli Muraja
elementary school of Kaavi in May 2017.
-Nine years ago, we were happy to start our training
as an afternoon club for pupils of the elementary school. The Finnish Government gave some money for schools for arranging afternoon clubs at the time, tells the director of Circus Muikku Timo Hatakka about the history of the Circus Muikku. The Society of Kaavi’s Youth Circus was established after the oldest children went to junior high school. It was obvious that the circus was popular among youth and the demand was rising.
New tricks motivate youth Circus Muikku is at a turning point. New activities
have been planned to secure the attractiveness and continuity of the circus activities. -We have excellent facilities to train at the new school. The older circus trainees take responsibility and teach the little ones. I teach too, but at some point, my own skills run out and the youth does not motivate on repeating the old tricks. Especially girls at the age of 11-13 are very quick to learn new skills. To maintain the motivation, we need new tricks, says Hatakka.
Development in Eastern Finland LAG Kalakukko funded a new trampoline and
a training mattress for vaults, somersaults, and flips. The training mattress is inflatable and it helps to leap and jump and reduces risk for injuries.
-We were lucky to have a private donation and therefore, we could apply for EAFRD funding for a development project, Hatakka tells. Even though circus requires a lot of equipment for practice, the focus is on skills and teaching the skills forward. LAG Kalakukko and LAG Joensuun Seudun Leader have funded together a joint development project for circus activities across the borderlines in Northern Savo and in Northern Karelia. -In the joint project with Joensuu, we can have a professional circus teacher to organise workshops for new tricks. We can also teach other skills required outside the arena such as lighting and sound. In cooperation, we want to start training classes in 1-4 new locations and for adults, Hatakka says.
Spirit attracts adults, too! The activities of Circus Muikku are focused in Kaavi.
Youth and adults are interested in the circus activities because of the community spirit. - Everyone is valued at circus. Even though you’re not sporty, there is a lot you can do. Magic tricks do not require acrobatics and we need hefty down men for pyramids. In fact, it’s more demanding than standing on the top. I believe that the spirit and the sense of community attract everyone. We value creativity, collaboration and hanging out together, Hatakka sums up.
LAG Kalakukko funded a new trampoline.
National Park at your service The National Park of Etelä-Konnevesi offers unforgettable nature experiences and different kind of services from food to canoe renting for international visitors.
Text and photos: Hannakaisa Markkanen
Finnish National Parks provide visitors unique
moments and beautiful sceneries in the Finnish nature. One of the newest National Parks is the National Park of EteläKonnevesi. It is situated between two towns Konnevesi and Rautalampi. You can boat, paddle, hike or walk from copse to rocky hills in the park. -This is not a desert but rather a nature area which provides services. For example, you can rent a canoe or take a taxi boat trip to enjoy the sceneries from the waters. If you don’t want to fish or barbecue, there are also food services in Rautalampi and in Konnevesi, says the project manager Rositsa Bliznakova from the Nature Travel Development Project. The idea of the project is to promote the investments for tourism and growth of new enterprises. In addition, there is another project for developing food services in the National Park. The project includes five companies which want to enhance their ability to provide services for international customers and to develop new
food travel products. Two of the companies are in Rautalampi: Holiday Center Törmälä and restaurant Hetki. -We wanted to join the project to develop our website for international tourists, says Sari Hintikka-Varis from the Holiday Center Törmälä.
www.nationalparks.fi The National Park and its services have been developed and funded by the EAFRD through ELY Centres in Northern Savo and Central Finland. Nature Travel Development Project: Rositsa Bliznakova, firstname.lastname@example.org Anne Hyvärinen, email@example.com Food Service Development Project: Heli Tossavainen, firstname.lastname@example.org Food Services www.tormala.fi www.ravintolahetki.fi
Mobile guiding for nature trails Retkipaikka has created mobile guiding for significant nature
trails in Northern Savo e.g. Orinoro in Leppävirta, Harjuranta in Varkaus and Jyrkkä in Sonkajärvi. For more info: www.retkipaikka.fi/vapaa/pohjois-savon-mobiilireittiopas The guidings are a part of digital experiments of eCountryside project.
ADVENTURE IN LEPPĂ„VIRTA
Adventure Park Leppis is situated near Vesileppis, Centre for sports and health.
The first adventure park in Northern Savo has been newly founded in LeppĂ¤virta. The Adventure Park Leppis is built in the living trees without causing them any harm. The park is situated on a hillside by a lake. It offers a great opportunity to experience Finnish nature and admire a typical landscape of Northern Savo at the same. Adventure parks are growing trend in Europe and in Finland.
Text: Hannakaisa Markkanen I Photos: Riku Jokinen
Sami Korventaus got excited about adventure parks when he visited them outside Finland. The adventure park is situated close to Vesileppis, a Centre for sports and health, offering e.g. hotel and spa services and underground cross-country skiing arena.
-The municipality of LeppĂ¤virta was looking for a new tourist attraction, so adventure park was one of the options we talked about. We work closely with Vesileppis although we have our own company. Our businesses are complementary to each other. The process took few years and now we are standing here, Korventaus smiles.
Adventure trails for everyone There are eight different trails in the park and a
mandatory training trail before heading to the adventure trails.
EAFRD as a business boost The adventure park was opened in May 2017 and it was funded by EAFRD through ELY Centre.
-The Enterprise Development Funding made a big difference. It helped me to get funding also from elsewhere. During the process, there were many things in the papers I needed to fill, I had not thought about before. It helped me to sharpen the business idea, Korventaus says. ELY Centre funded structures and safety equipment of the park. -Safety is number one priority. Adventurers are fastened in the wire ropes on the trails and we have taken care of safety issues all the way, Korventaus says.
-On the training trail a guide shows how to move on the trails. The training session and having an adventure take usually about couple of hours. The trails are meant for people over 130cm, so usually children that have gone to school are able to experience adventure in our park. We have trails for children, families and for athletes. We have had lots of groups e.g. work communities and pupils on school trips, Korventaus clarifies. The lowest trails are above one meter off the ground reaching up to thirteen meters above the ground. -We have had some people who are afraid of heights, but training has helped them to conquer their fears. You can move at your own pace, so there is no pressure. You can always try, there is nothing but to win, Korventaus encourages.
We have trails for children, families and for athletes.
Municipality of Tervo presented via 3D glasses eco-friendly homes which will be built to a housing fair in 2019.
Mayor of Tervo, Petteri Ristikangas, is a strong enthusiast of experimental culture in digitalisation.
SMALL MUNICIPALITIES AS FORERUNNERS IN DIGITALISATION IN NORTHERN SAVO Digitalisation proceeds rapidly in Northern Savo. Forerunners are four small municipalities of Tervo, Vesanto, Pielavesi and Keitele which have developed services for their citizens and made some digital experiments. In Finland, digitalisation proceeds fragmentary and digital participation differs from region to region.
Text: Hannakaisa Markkanen I Photos: Eemeli Kiukkonen
Globally, digitalisation is changing our lives in many
ways faster than ever before. Services of societies and municipalities are already partly digital and the pace is increasing. Forerunners in Northern Savo are four small municipalities of Tervo, Vesanto, Pielavesi and Keitele with a population of 1,600 â€“ 5,000 citizens. They are already executing the provincial vision of digitalisation which is in course of preparation in Northern Savo. Cooperation of municipalities is a key element in the vision.
Forerunners of digitalisation: Tervo, Vesanto, Pielavesi and Keitele Roots of the cooperation between Tervo, Vesanto, Pielavesi and Keitele are in the year 2011 when the government ordered the municipalities to investigate a possibility to form a joint municipality. The municipalities stayed independent but some possibilities to cooperation were found during the process, tell Petteri Ristikangas, Mayor of Tervo and Minna Jaakkola, Chief of Communications Officer in eCountryside project.
-In my opinion, a spirit of cooperation and even a common virtual identity were developed during that process, says Jaakkola.
In addition, the opening times of libraries were lengthened in the evening, so the services were improved in the four municipalities. -The registers of the libraries were united and the personnel got to know each otherâ€™s libraries physically, so that a person in Tervo can guide a citizen in Vesanto. The employees in libraries have done a successful change in their culture of working, Jaakkola says. -Video chat experiment was good, although the result was that we wanted a different kind of solution. Now, we have a new application and we use that. We are very happy that we can invest for a solution that really works. As a small municipality, itâ€™s been easy to participate to these experiments, and of course our decision-makers are behind this. At best, we can improve services, competitive advantage, and cost-efficiency, Ristikangas tells. Digitalisation is seen strategically important for the future in Tervo with a population of 1,600. -At the market square of Kuopio, the capital of Northern Savo, we showed that working remotely from Tervo is possible. We also presented via 3D glasses how it feels like to walk around in our eco-friendly homes since we are organising a housing fair in 2019 in Tervo. We are looking for pilot families to move into these homes by a beautiful lake, Ristikangas grins.
Toni Auvinen, Chief Digital Officer at the Regional Council of Northern Savo, tells that a provincial vision of digitalisation is being drafted at the moment. -We offer services first of all digitally, following national principals of digitalisation and we help those who cannot use digital services by themselves. The same way of thinking might work in the municipalities in the future, Auvinen tells.
Digital experiments offer support for municipal management Even though, the provincial vision of digitalisation is at drafting phase, some digital experiments have already been done in Northern Savo. eCountryside project, financed by Regional Council, is known as the first one in Finland to finance experiments for municipalities and organizations for a period of six months without sector limitations.
-We have done experiments and not just talked about them. We are solving digital problems of municipalities that companies have already produced solutions for. So, we are bringing the municipalities and companies together because the municipalities do not have time to find accurate technical solutions, Jaakkola says. As a result of a digital experiment, the four municipalities of Tervo, Vesanto, Pielavesi and Keitele are using a joint virtual library. The citizens can use their library card in all of the four libraries, also then when the personnel are not on duty. Library on call duty can be reached by a video chat.
As a result of a digital experiment, the four municipalities of Tervo, Vesanto, Pielavesi and Keitele are using a joint virtual library, says Minna Jaakkola
Working remotely was presented in practice. Behind the town hall of Tervo there is the town hall of Kuopio.
Optical fibre ensures digital participation?
customers. -Because of long distances we will need fixed broadbands and wireless networks but we will not probably attain 100% coverage, Auvinen says.
In Finland, people living in the rural areas are used to
According to Smart Countryside publication, telecom operators in Finland are not very interested in building fixed broadbands to sparsely populated rural areas because of profitability risks. The report offers new optical fibre projects and changing of financing criteria for lacking broadband infrastructure. Digital experiments are suggested to prevent inequality. Recommendations do not answer the question what happens if new optical fibre projects will not materialise even by correcting the financing criteria. The government has initiated a national project for fast broadband already in the year 2008 and it continues until year 2019 due to e.g. cancelled optical fibre projects. The main question probably is, whether the market-based service delivery is enough to ensure the availability of broadband in the sparsely populated rural areas to ensure equal digital participation in Finland.
decreasing services. Digitalisation may offer solutions for producing better services, especially in the sparsely populated rural areas. Some municipalities in Northern Savo have invested in fibre while others have ignored the possibility. The penetration of optical fibre varies from region to region in Finland. -It’s hard to benefit from digitalisation if the information is not physically moving along the fibre. Broadband can be compared to basic infrastructure such as roads or sewerage system which are normal requirements for living in the countryside, Jaakkola says. According to Smart Countryside publication (9/2017) Finland has no united national digital strategy and rather the development of digital services has been dispersed. In addition, there are big differences in the degree of digital participation of citizens which may threaten the equality of citizens and produce regional inequality. -For example, in Denmark the government has taken the responsibility for leading the national digitalisation, and it has been successfully taken into interactive level. Attitude separates us from Denmark, Jaakkola says. According to Auvinen, Finland should follow Sweden: the public administration should maintain data networks and private companies should provide service delivery for
Sources: Smart Countryside. Better services in rural areas by using digitalisation and experiment. Publications of the Govenrment ́s analysis, assessment and research activities 9/2017 (in Finnish, summary in English) The Prime Minister’s Office, Publications www.vnk.fi/en/publications Fast broadband project, Finnish Communications Regulatory Authority www.viestintavirasto.fi Budget proposial 2017 (in Finnish) www.budjetti.vm.fi
Contact information in Northern Savo
LAG Mansikka Ainonkatu 2, 77600 Suonenjoki www.mansikkary.fi
Isoharjantie 6, 71800 SIILINJÄRVI
LAG Ylä-Savon Veturi Antinkatu 10, 74120 Iisalmi www.ylasavonveturi.fi
PL 2000, 70101 Kuopio + 358 295 026 500 Head of Countryside Unit Juha Kaipiainen
HighwaySavo is a joint communication project of Local Action Groups and ELY Centre in Northern Savo. www.highwaysavo.fi
Food traveller: Petteri Tikkanen I Translation: Hannakaisa Markkanen