Inspirational ideas: Putting reindeer on the “food” map
Supply chain, marketing and consumption
An Operational Group in Sweden is developing premium food products from reindeer meat
In most of Europe, you do not see reindeer meat to buy all that often. But in Sweden, there are quite a number of reindeer herders and they are looking for new markets for their product. An Operational Group in Sapmi involving reindeer herders, a slaughterhouse, retailers and food experts, is working on new ways to produce, transform and market this meat, but also new ways of organising the business across the supply chain.
They are developing premium products to make reindeer meat more available on national and international markets. The products will be marketed in a specific way so that the consumers know about details such as “Where did the reindeer graze?”, “What has the animal been eating?” as well as a detailed description of the animal; calf, vaja (female) or sarv (male), age and how it was slaughtered and treated after slaughter.
Thanks to the Operational Group, five new products have been marketed, some for the consumer market and some for high-end restaurants. One of the products brings together tourism and food, with an experience-based food journey in Sapmi. The guests will take part in the daily life with the reindeer herders and experience the food. A sustainability report has been developed which proves that reindeer meat is a healthy choice, with low impact on the environment. The report may help other villages to develop similar reports, and this may also help them further improve their reindeer herding, as well as the reindeer product.
The work has created new business awareness among the reindeer herders, understanding the market and the need for co-operation along the food chain” says Anders Ruth, reindeer herder.
The innovation will contribute to maintaining and developing sustainable economic, ecological and social growth within Sapmi, Sapmi’s land area and increase profitability of reindeer herding.
“We hope the premium products will encourage a positive trend and put reindeer on the ‘food’ map for new groups of buyers” – says Helena Zimmer from the OG.
The project will be finalised at the beginning of 2020. A new company will be created with the reindeer herders as the main owners. The company will focus on continuing the development of innovative products, cooperation along the supply chain, and marketing the new products, which have already developed within the projects.