Scan Magazine, Issue 85, February 2016

Page 44

Scan Magazine | Special Theme | A Taste of Sweden

Photo: Johan Olsson

Photo: Hans Johansson

Photo: Johan Olsson

Photo: AXA

Krister Zackari, CEO of Lantmännen, the Swedish agricultural cooperative. Photo: Lantmännen.

From the Swedish countryside with love Oats and oatmeal are crucial ingredients in Swedish classics – from porridge to cinnamon buns and beyond. Explore the healthy grain by Swedish farmers of the agricultural cooperative, Lantmännen. By Ellinor Thunberg

“I eat oatmeal porridge every day,” says Krister Zackari, CEO of Lantmännen, adding that there is a lack of awareness of just how nutritious oatmeal is. Swedish oats are particularly rich in flavour and nutrients, thanks to the soil and milder climate in Scandinavia. “The long summer nights make the oats ripen slowly,” Zackari says. Oats are a comparatively new crop in Sweden, having been grown there since the late 18th century. “We eat plenty of oats in Sweden, but I believe we would feel better if we ate even more,” says Zackari. And it is not all about fibre. Oats offer several health benefits, thanks to its 44 | Issue 85 | February 2016

high content of betaglucans and antioxidants. Betaglucans from oats are proven to reduce cholesterol in the blood, helping to prevent heart disease.

From field to fork Lantmännen is an agricultural cooperative owned by 29,000 Swedish farmers. Well-known member brands include AXA, Kungsörnen, Sopps, GoGreen, Gooh, Finn Crisp and AMO, with provisions such as cereals, flour and pasta. The cooperative is northern Europe’s leading body in agriculture, machinery, bioenergy and food products. “Being owned by the farmers themselves makes us unique,” says the CEO. “We can take responsibility all the way from

field to fork, and we have a long-term focus on sustainability.” Lantmännen regularly ranks at the very top of the Scandinavian Sustainable Brand Index and works to help farmers develop cultivation in a more sustainable direction. This involves, for example, environmentally friendly fuels, optimisation and research. The climate target to reduce emissions by 40 per cent between 2009 and 2020 was reached six years “too early” in 2014. “We stand for good oats, in a double sense,” says Zackari, referring to requirements such as the no-sludge and no straw-shortening policy on the grains used for all food products. “Maybe even a treble sense – our AXA oats are healthy, sustainable and very tasty!”

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